Young people are critical to the post-pandemic recovery and for addressing the serious social, economic and environmental challenges that are now facing countries, young leaders have said.
Held ahead of the main Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), the three-day forum is a unique opportunity for young leaders to bring policy recommendations to their governments – asserting their role in shaping the future of the Commonwealth.
This year’s forum focuses on the adverse impacts of climate change, conflict and Covid-19, which disproportionately hit young people by cutting employment, training and education opportunities. Approximately 60 per cent of the unemployed in Commonwealth countries are young people. With the World Bank warning of a looming global recession, it has never been more important to ensure that young people are prioritized in Commonwealth policies.
“As the Chairperson of the Rwandan National Youth Council, I have had the opportunity to witness the will and drive that young people have in building our future. I am in awe of the spirit of service and duty that prevailed more than ever throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Young people across the Commonwealth played an integral role in the handling of this crisis, demonstrating yet again the great value that lies within the drive and brilliance of young people. I am here to reassure our leaders that we have not waited to be called upon. We understand what is at stake when it comes to the numerous issues that our world faces today.” Said the Chair of the CYF taskforce and Chair of the Rwanda National Youth Council, Alodie Iradukunda.
Rwanda’s Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Rosemary Mbabazi, praised the commitment, ingenuity, and hard work of the youth. “I encourage you to build networks that will turn into the markets needed for your innovations, create innovations that responds to and solves challenges for our communities. I am sure you will leave here with more knowledge and transformed mindsets.” She said.
The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2022 takes place from 20-25 June 2022, in Kigali, Rwanda under the theme “Delivering a Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming”.