Youth Civic Engagement For International Youth Day

Rebecca Solomon from the Youth Department talks about the 2015 International Youth Day.

The 2015 International Youth Day activities is set to take place at Sola in TORBA Province from the 12th – 16th of August next week. Over 100 young people are expected to attend this annual event, delegations of youth leaders from each of provinces will also be attending. The President of the Republic, His Excellency Lonsdale Baldwin, and several State Ministers will be attending. This will also be His Excellency’s first official visit to his home province.

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The 2015 International Youth Day theme is Youth Civic Engagement. According to the UN Youth Social Policy and Development Division, Youth Civic Engagement is a main goal of the United Nations System-Wide Action Plan on Youth that seeks to promote young people’s civic engagement at all levels.

There is need to empower young people so that they can be involved in leadership responsibilities, recently there has been an increase policies and programs focused on young people by governments, UN entities, regional and multilateral organizations, CSOs, youth and researchers.

In Vanuatu, several initiatives have been implemented to promote young people in civic duties. An example was the first ever Vanuatu National Youth Parliament that was held in 2013. During that event 52 young people were brought to Port Vila from around Vanuatu, they attended several training sessions before proceeding to their official parliamentary sessions.

2013 Youth Parliamentarians

2013 Youth Parliamentarians

Transparency International Vanuatu (TIV) was part of the organising team that organised the youth parliament; basically selecting the young people and conducting their trainings. The following year in 2014 TIV organised a smaller version of the youth parliament called ‘Yut Blong Konstituensi’, taking part in the event were over 20 of the 2013 youth parliamentarians.

Still, the need to effectively engage young people in civic duties is a growing necessity. Next week the island of Sola will be a hub for youth activities, TIV will be attending the event represented by Douglas Tamara to conduct the Civic Awareness sessions.

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