Calling Youth into Policy Making
According to former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, "Young people should be at the forefront of global change and innovation. Empowered, they can be key agents for development and peace. If, however, they are left on society's margins, all of us will be impoverished. Let us ensure that all young people have every opportunity to participate fully in the lives of their societies."
Sound the gong! Now more than ever before in human history, we are witnessing what was once thought virtually impossible. Today, policy makers are actually encouraging young people to join them in the policy formulation process instead of side-lining them; gone are the days wherein these captains of stratagems pontificated about their plans of action to the younger generation!
This trend is growing increasingly evident in Sri Lanka. Input to the MyWorld Survey, Sri Lankan youth contribution being one of the highest, award winning! Has shown how young people are getting involved. There is certainly a need for the youth to ensure that their voices are heard and accounted for. In order to do so, the youth need to strive to be seen as an active unit of the democratic processes of Sri Lanka. The involvement of the youth of Sri Lanka can be evidenced by the successfully conducted World Youth Conference last May and in the formulation and implementation of the national youth policy.
Every call for the youth to voice their opinion should therefore be seen by the youth of Sri Lanka as a gateway to shaping the society they want to have tomorrow.
The National Human Development Report is one such summoning. But the question is what issues does the youth want the report to capture? What solutions do they see as feasible? What message do they want to convey? What do you want the world to know about the ‘Youth’ of Sri Lanka and their contributions towards policy making and the development process?
You have to be part of the process to know it! Engage.
Authors – Venushka Gammampila and Taryana Odayar