Sri Lanka first in Asia to host World Conference on Youth in May

Saturday, 5 April 2014 00:11 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Sri Lanka will be the centre of attention once again as it prepares to be the first Asian country to host the World Conference on Youth (WCY) 2014 in May. Having successfully concluded the ninth Commonwealth Youth Forum (CYF), which was held from 10 to 14 November in Hambantota in parallel to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo, the nation is once again gearing up to host the most-awaited international event for youth, the WCY, which will take place from 6 to 10 May at the BMICH in Colombo. The conference is being held following the approval given to the Government on a proposal it made requesting to host such an event at the 66th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 2011. Having welcomed the suggestion, the UNGA has included the same in the preamble paragraph of the Third Committee Resolution of 66th and 68th UNGA during 2011 and 2013 respectively. The planning of the WYC 2014 is lead by a functional steering committee co-chaired by Minister of Youth Affairs and Skills Development Dullas Alahapperuma and MP Namal Rajapaksa. The conference that will be held under the theme ‘Mainstreaming Youth in the Post 2015 Development Agenda’ is expected to attract well over 1,500 participants, including ministers in charge of youth affairs, UN agencies, academics, civil society organisations, diplomats, journalists and youth people. According to the National Youth Services Council the main objective of the event is to contribute to the establishment of a permanent youth engagement mechanism that ensures consistent follow-up with young people and further boosts their participation and partnership in the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda at the national, regional and global levels. Sri Lanka Youth Chairman/Director General Lalith Piyum Perera stated: “We believe this will provide an inclusive platform for an intergenerational dialogue which leads to a joint youth and youth ministerial declaration.” The WCY 2014 will aim at facilitating a process that strengthens effective youth participation in the planning, implementing, and evaluation of the post 2015 development agenda, which refers to the process of defining the future global development framework that will succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDG)s. The conference will also create an inclusive platform for youth that enables them to review the progress of the MDG, share ideas, experiences, and innovative approaches for effectively contributing to the post MDG framework and its implementation. The WCY 2014 will be the final push to mainstream youth in the post 2015 development agenda before member states of the United Nations (UN) meet at the general assembly in September.