9th Commonwealth Youth Minister’s Meeting

The Commonwealth Secretariat convenes a four-yearly Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting (CYMM), including a Youth Leaders Forum and Stakeholders Forum.

The meeting enables government ministers and senior officials to share good practices, debate emerging issues, take stock of pioneering initiatives and forge new partnerships for resourcing youth development. The recommendations from each Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting are considered by leaders at the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

The 9th Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting (9CYMM) was held between 31 July and 4 August 2017 in Kampala, Uganda.The main topic of discussion during the 9th CYMM was the inequalities in the area youth development and acknowledging the increasing role of youth in the areas of social and economic progress. In their joint communique, the youth ministers agreed to mainstream youth priorities across all stages of policy-making. Ministers also agreed to promote the professionalization of youth work, social entrepreneurship, and innovative financing mechanisms. 

Watch the daily highlights of CYMM and get further information here.

Read the communique here.

THE CYC CALLS FOR MORE RECOGNITION OF YOUTH AS STRATEGIC PARTNERS AT 9TH CYMM!

The Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC) wishes to express its sincere gratitude to those who contributed to the success of the recently concluded 9th Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting (9CYMM) held in Kampala, Uganda. In particular the CYC acknowledges the Government of Uganda & the Uganda National Youth Council for readily agreeing to host the event and for providing warm hospitality throughout!
 
The young people of the Commonwealth in attendance at the Young Leaders Forum put forth intuitive ideas and demonstrated that within the youth sector work was already being done to resource and finance youth development. However it was unanimously agreed that more could be done. The discussions at the forum focused on the institutionalisation of youth-led organisations, investing in youth, human resource development and the role of media, ICT and creative industry.
Youth leaders agreed that there is a need for more intergenerational dialogue and partnerships. This led to the launch of the Commonwealth Youth Summit with the theme ‘An Intergenerational Convergence’, scheduled to take place November 2017 in Malaysia.
 
The CYC has advocated in the best interest of young people, especially on the strategic role young people play at the heart of these development initiatives. The youth were afforded a seat at the Youth Ministers Meeting to mainstream the voices & concerns of young people. The Executive members of the CYC present were very active and vocal to ensure they advanced the agenda of youth development and empowerment.
 
Through our Chairperson Kishva Ambigapathy an assurance was given to the youth ministers that young people were ready to partner with governments, private sector, civil society and NGOs to better deliver youth initiatives.
Calling also for self-sustaining approaches, CYC announced the setup of a social enterprise which include the acquisition of land (CYC Land Title Ownership) to house the CYC Headquarters, an Innovation Hub, venture investors club and mixed developments whereby profits will be channelled to the CYC for youth development initiatives.
 
However the CYC takes reservations with some of the discussions that took place in the meetings. There seemed to be a lot of hesitation and no specific commitments from several youth ministers. There were also strong trends to generalise youth, thus failing to recognise young people as a diverse social group. Many statements concluded that the youth were beneficiaries and the outcome communiqué does not give the young people the opportunity for ownership. Despite the CYC’s best efforts at advocacy there certainly is still much room for improvement as ministers fail to see the strategic role youth can play!
 
The CYC was unhappy at several instances of the meeting, particularly when several comments and terms were used to undermine young people, especially with the many added value(s) they bring to our society today, was of grave concern. This does not change the fact that the Commonwealth Youth Council will continue to advocate and make a stronger case to ensure that each and every young person in the Commonwealth is given the opportunity to realise his or her full potential.
 
The CYC, through its Chairperson, will write to the Commonwealth Secretary General this week to express it’s concerns on these matters and communications would take place to the Heads of Government to seek a way forward and to reinforce the strategic role young people play in the Commonwealth.
 
Watch Kishva Ambigapathy’s, Chairperson of the CYC, official remarks on this matter: https://web.facebook.com/kishva.ambigapathy/videos/10214074935895326/
 
Read the original press statement here.
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