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Commonwealth Youth Forum 2011
The Commonwealth of Nations has a responsibility to develop youth as one of its most valuable assets in the best interest of the Commonwealth and to ensure our future prosperity. In order for the Commonwealth to be relevant and accountable to the needs of its 1.2 billion youth , it is critical that youth directly participate in all levels of decision making and budget allocation, not only in policy and program design but also in implementation and evaluation.
In a time of great political, social, economic, technological and environmental challenges, we call for immediate action to rectify failures and build upon successes of the past.
- The Commonwealth and its Member States are expected to promote peace. Youth believe that the Commonwealth has the responsibility to act quickly and appropriately in the best interests of its citizens. This should be in accordance with the Commonwealth’s guiding principles that relate to democracy, development, diversity, peace and human rights.
- Health is a fundamental right, imperative in accessing other human rights, and achieving economic development. Youth are concerned about the lack of progress in addressing health inequities, and believe that outcomes for vulnerable groups must be prioritised in a culturally appropriate manner. We call on the Commonwealth to increase investment in health, including health systems strengthening and addressing the social determinants of health.
- Commonwealth Member States should strengthen their commitment to investing in youth through a transparent mechanism, ensuring access to information communication technology, education and funding for skills and enterprise development.
- Youth call on the Commonwealth Member States to urgently prioritise environmental challenges, including climate change, and work together to evaluate, establish and implement policy frameworks and improve budgetary allocations to address these challenges. We request that within one year of the culmination of each Commonwealth Youth Forum a right of reply regarding the progress and input on each recommendation is provided by Commonwealth Heads of Government to the Commonwealth community. We will take responsibility for ensuring that recommendations from the Commonwealth Youth Forum are followed up by the Commonwealth and Member States and inform peers of progress made in regards to the recommendations emanating from the Commonwealth Youth Forum.