Youth delegates highlight the importance of their contribution for the future of the Commonwealth at the 2018 Commonwealth Youth Forum 

The Commonwealth Youth Forum brought together over 500 youth delegates to engage in planning, capacity-building and a General Assembly where they finalised their priorities on youth-led action in development and elected their new Commonwealth Youth Council.

Several Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) youth programme participants joined young people from across the Commonwealth at the 11th Commonwealth Youth Forum hosted in London, United Kingdom as part of the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. The 2018 Commonwealth Youth Forum was convened under the theme of ’Powering our Common Future’ from 15 – 18 April 2018. The Youth Forum’s theme, designed as a response to the main CHOGM theme ‘Towards a Common Future’, emphasised the potential for young people in the Commonwealth to make a tangible and lasting difference whilst also encouraging participants to contribute recommendations and actions towards a prosperous, secure, sustainable and fairer future. 

Participants from the CPA’s 9th Commonwealth Youth Parliament (CYP), Ms Tammy Randall (Gibraltar) and Ms Dominique Noralez (Belize) joined 2018 Commonwealth Day participant, Mr Ryan Robinson Perinchief (Bermuda) during the General Assembly Meeting of the Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC), on 18 April 2018 which discussed and voted on recommendations on a broad range of issues including: 
Youth unemployment; 
Violent extremism;
Cyber security; 
Climate change and climate resilience; 
Inclusion and equity; 
Health; and,
Democracy and governance.   

All of the recommendations and outcomes which were passed during voting at the CYC General Assembly were then included in the Declaration by the Young People of the Commonwealth and Action Plan to be presented to Commonwealth leaders at the CHOGM 2018 Meeting taking place later in the week.

The involvement of former participants in youth programmes provided by the CPA Headquarters Secretariat during the 2018 Commonwealth Youth Form continued through to the elections to the Commonwealth Youth Council Executive Board, where former 8th CYP participant, Elizabeth Kite from the CPA Tonga Branch was elected to the position of Regional Representative (Pacific Region), where she will be responsible for representing young people’s views and interests from across the Pacific region. 

The 2018 Commonwealth Youth Forum was opened with a speech by HRH Prince Harry who said: “As I travel around the Commonwealth in my work on behalf of The Royal Family, it is striking to see just how different today's generation of young adults are. You are connected. You have made positive use of technology to build relationships within your communities, nations and across the globe. You care. You want your nations to be cleaner, your planet to be greener, your friends and neighbours to be treated fairly and with respect, no matter their ethnicity, their religion, or their status. You are optimistic. The complicated challenges we face – climate change, inequality, conflict – they do not discourage you. Rather, they inspire you to persevere and effect change.” 

To read the full speech by Prince Harry please click here.

It was also announced that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II had appointed Prince Harry to be the new global Commonwealth Youth Ambassador in his new role as President of The Queen's Commonwealth Trust, a new youth charity which will provide a platform for young change-makers across the Commonwealth in areas such as education, sport, health and the environment.

Some of the young delegates attending the 2018 Commonwealth Youth Forum spoke about their experiences:

“It’s been a great time here at the 2018 Commonwealth Youth Forum, and I look forward to working with some of the young students we’ve met in the future. This was the first time Bermuda was represented, so I particularly enjoyed getting to know everyone else”, Mr Ryan Robinson Perinchief (Bermuda). 

“We’ve had the opportunity to meet and listen to some really inspirational people from the United Nations to former Prime Ministers and people who have changed the world. This is something I am going to remember for a very long time. In terms of the future and what we can take from this, we need to work closer together and we need a stronger, more united Commonwealth”, Mr Kieran O’Neill (Scotland). 

“One of my favourite parts of CYF was in the General Assembly, where the British Overseas Territories stood up for themselves and made a recommendation for youth votes for every country in the Commonwealth and seeing young people from across the Commonwealth stand up for themselves”, Ms Dominique Noralez (Belize).        

For further information about the CHOGM 2018/Commonwealth Summit please visit www.chogm2018.org.uk.


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The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and associated Forums take place every two years in a different Commonwealth country.

Additional images from Commonwealth Secretariat and CHOGM 2018 teams.

Updated 26th April 2018.

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association connects, develops, promotes and supports Parliamentarians and their staff to identify benchmarks of good governance and the implementation of the enduring values of the Commonwealth. 
 
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Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
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