Year of Youth 2023: The Commonwealth Secretariat launches ‘landmark’ initiative to mark the 50th anniversary of its ‘world-renowned’ youth programme
The ‘Year of Youth 2023’ initiative aims to celebrate and empower the lives of over 1.5 billion under 30’s living in 56 countries
The Commonwealth Heads of Government gave the go-ahead for the special status during their June 2022 meeting in Kigali, Rwanda. Heads made the announcement that 2023 would be centred on empowering youth, stakeholders, and governments to accelerate progress on youth-focused problems.
In addition to youth-related issues taking centre stage, the Year of Youth 2023 also marks the 50th anniversary of the Commonwealth Youth Programme.
Speaking at the in-person launch at Marlborough House, London, the Commonwealth-Secretary General, Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, said:
“It is my absolute pleasure as Secretary-General to be here launching the Commonwealth Year of Youth, and I am excited that the next 12 months will bring Commonwealth leaders, stakeholders, and citizens together to celebrate and empower our 1.5 billion young people.”
She continued: “Young people are at the heart of the Commonwealth Charter. Despite the many challenges they face, young people give so much towards every aspect of the social, economic, political, and cultural life of our 56 member countries.”
She ended with: “The Commonwealth’s future success rests with them. So here today we commit to investing in and promoting their development and engagement at community, regional, national, and pan-Commonwealth levels throughout this year and beyond.”
An advisory committee will be in charge of overseeing the development of the Year of Youth 2023, making sure that events and activities reflect the rich diversity of young people from the 56 Commonwealth member nations.
His Royal Highness, Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex, will serve as the Quality Youth Leadership Ambassador for the Year of Youth 2023, with other Champion Ambassadors to be revealed in due course.
Several ministers, including the Hon. Shamfa Cudjoe, Minister of Sports and Community Development for Trinidad and Tobago, and the Hon. Rosemary Mbabazi, Minister of Youth for Rwanda, were in attendance.
The Minister of State for Youth and Children Affairs for Uganda, the Hon. Sarah Mateke Nyirabashitsi, and the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Youth Affairs for Pakistan, the Hon. Shaza Fatima Khawaja, were also among the ministers who attended the launch.
The event was held at the iconic and historic Grade I listed Marlborough House, located in St. James, City of Westminster. Built in 1711, the estate serves both as the home of the Commonwealth Secretariat and the headquarters of the Commonwealth of Nations.
The Commonwealth is a voluntary association composed of 56 independent sovereign states, with approximately 60 percent of its 2.5 billion combined population under the age of 30.
A key function of the Commonwealth Secretariat is to assist member countries in strengthening their democratic institutions and improving governance.
A rundown of the most significant youth-oriented activities scheduled for 2023 was also presented at the launch, along with the Year of Youth 2023 logo and website.
The Year of Youth 2023 events calendar can be found here.
Link 1 – https://thecommonwealth.org/our-work/youth/2023
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