A Belizean delegation returned on Friday from London, where members attended the 11th Commonwealth Forum. The Commonwealth Forum had several aspects to it such as the People’s Forum, the Women’s Forum, the Business Forum and the Youth Forum. Love News spoke with Dominique Noralez, President of the National Youth Council, who shared about the youth forum.
Dominique Noralez – President of the National Youth Council: “It lasted for about three days with panel discussions based on security and sustainability and then capacity building sessions for advocacy planning, for open leadership and then we also had the Commonwealth Youth Council Elections so that’s what the Commonwealth Youth Forum was in a nutshell. The declaration was based on the four subthemes. They are sustainability, security, fairness and inclusivity and so the sessions that we sat in really looked at fairness in itself and it had young people look at what fairness means to them and what fairness means to them in the Commonwealth and then we came up with specific actions. In terms of security we looked at the UN Security Council Resolution 2250 which speaks about peace building and how young people could be agents for peace building within their own countries whether that be with urban violence, our experience with urban violence in Belize or for example young people form the Middle East who deal with war and combat.”
Noralez said that at the Commonwealth Youth Forum they were able to meet with some prominent persons.
Dominique Noralez – President of the National Youth Council: “We had a panel discussion with Bill Gates, the Prime Minister of Jamaica, with Teresa May the Prime Minister of the UK. We also had a presentation from Prince Harry, he is the new Commonwealth Youth Ambassador; he was appointed by the Queen to be the Commonwealth Youth Ambassador. We also met all the heads of government because the UK Prime Minister had a special reception for youth delegates to meet the heads of government so we had people from all over the world in one room to just talk, network, see what are you doing in your country, what can I learn from you so those are the kind of high caliber people that we met at the Commonwealth Youth Forum.”
Noralez explained that moving forward, the Commonwealth Youth Council will be engaging the different youth councils of the Commonwealth countries as to how to go about creating awareness about the Commonwealth in order for the youths to be informed and take advantage of the opportunities that it offers.