Commonwealth Youth Forum:
Opportunity for international youth integration
The Magampura Ruhunu International Convention Centre
Pic: Sudath Malaweera
The ninth Commonwealth Youth Forum (CYF) which begins today at
Magampura Ruhunu International Convention Centre (MRICC) will conclude
on November 14. Various problems faced by the youth worldwide will be
discussed indepth during the forum.
There are so many problems, the youth face today and the forum will
be a gateway to identify them and address them immediately. The youth
must be prepared to face contemporary challenges. Today's youth are the
leaders of tomorrow. They have a major role to play for the sake of the
country and society. The youth are the invaluable resource for the
country's development. The Government under the Mahinda Chinthana
national development program will take every effort to improve the
skills of youth and to make them a valuable resource for development.
Without solving the problems of youth nothing can be achieved.
Several events have been organised from November 10 to 14.
Registration of invitees will start at 8.30 a.m. Following the national
anthem of Sri Lanka a traditional dancing item will be staged. Youth
Affairs and Skills Development Minister Dullas Alahapperuma will make
the welcome address. President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Commonwealth
Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma will address the inaugural ceremony.
A view of the Ranminithenna telefilm village.
A group of differently abled people will also perform on the stage in
the inaugural day and events will conclude with the vote of thanks by
YLTF Member Aruthra Rajasingham.
On the second day of CYF recap and introduction of thematic groups
will be held and the thematic groups will be divided into four groups.
On the third day of the forum two capacity building sessions will be
held. Regional youth meetings have also been organised. Five regional
groups will participate in the regional meetings. An election will also
be held to select the executive committee members of Commonwealth Youth
Council. The results will also be released on the same day.
On November 13 policy debates will be held followed by several
community services in the field that include visit to elephant transit
home, Udawalawa, Bird Sanctuary Bundala, beach cleaning in Hambantota
and community projects by the youth in and around Hambantota, according
to the Chairman of National Youth Services Council Lalith Piyum Perera.
On the last day of CYF the youth will participate in the Diabetics
walk from the Saltern in Hambantota to the Beach park, he said.
More than 100 youth from Commonwealth countries who arrived in
Hambantota have been provided accommodation in Hambantota Peacock Beach
Hotel. Last night the local and foreign youth were provided a dinner at
the Ranminithenna telefilm village, National Youth Services Council
Hambantota Assistant Government Agent Y.K. Shiromi Jeewamala
described the CYF as a rare opportunity for youth in the region and
across the country to learn lot of things such as how to organise an
international event, how to associate with foreigners and exchange the
cultural and traditional values with one another. The CYF will provide a
platform for youth to expose their innovative ideas to the world. On the
concluding day 5,000 youth from all parts of the country including the
North and the East will gather at the open auditorium of the Convention
The Bundala Bird Sanctuary.
The Udawalawa National
After the CYF there are opportunities to promote the tourism industry
in Hambantota. The Mattala Airport will also receive enough publicity
because foreign delegates will arrive in Hambantota and leave Hambantota
via the Mattala Airport, she said.
Five innovative youth from Sri Lanka and five who represent
Commonwealth countries will chair the CYF. They have held several
meetings so far.
Foreign youth delegation have been provided accommodation at the
Hambantota Peacock Beach Hotel and local delegation at Kataragama
National Holiday Resort. Nearly 1,500 youth between 15 and 29 years who
represent Hambantota, Embilipitiya, Moneragala, Matara and Ratnapura
will participate at the inaugural ceremony today.
An International Youth-led Task force has been appointed by Minister
of Youth Affairs and Skills Development Minister Dullas Alahapperuma to
ensure the agenda is relevant and reflects the concerns of young people.
Discussions at the forum will include reconciliation and social
cohesion, youth in the Post-2015 development agenda, education, youth
employment, gender equality, sexual health and rights, well-being and
growth, and professionalisation of youth work.
The advent of modern technology has a positive and negative impact on
youth. Steps should be taken to safeguard the youth from devastation.
Personality-building is very important concept of CYF and such forum
will be helpful to overcome the problems the youth face today.
If youth were not led on the correct path then they would get
involved in anti-social activities. Violence against the youth should be
stopped. Youth in other countries should join hands to face challenges.
Unemployment in the developing countries is comparatively high. The
youth should be made aware of community diseases such as AIDS. The
unemployment problem among youth must be addressed.
A large number of children die due to malnutrition every year. The
youth in Commonwealth Countries should join hands to help the
underprivileged. International fora such as CYF should propose ideas to
solve the problems faced by youth today.