Leon Ward, a former UK Young Ambassador to the Commonwealth Youth Council has shared his thoughts and experiences on what being a Youth Ambassador to the Commonwealth Youth Council means, in light of our open elections for two new UK Young Ambassadors to the Commonwealth Youth Council. Read on and get inspired!
What is the Commonwealth Youth Council?
The Commonwealth Youth Council is a pan-Commonwealth organisation that includes young people from all of the Commonwealth countries. It convenes every two years at a multi-day conference called the Commonwealth Youth Forum.
Why is it important?
It is a dedicated space for young people from the Commonwealth to work on a communique which is presented to the Commonwealth Heads of Government the day after the Youth Forum finishes.
In April 2018, the United Kingdom will be the host country for both the Youth Forum and Heads of Government Meeting.
In theory, countries should be sending national youth delegates from their national youth bodies. The UK sends two Young Ambassadors who represent the manifesto passed by the BYC’s membership.
In reality, though, there are very few checks made on delegates – some work for their governments or are known to individual Ministers and therefore are given a place. Each nation can send two delegates under 29.
What’s the plan for 2018?
Plans will be firmed up in October when an international Taskforce of young people will meet, in London, to design the Youth Forum. We expect the Forum to touch on pan-Commonwealth issues like gender, equality, security, resilience and sustainability. But, this will all be determined in due course.
We are also reviewing how to best use the Communique to really voice the issues young people are concerned with. So, the Forum may not look like it has in the past – we will update this blog in October to reflect the decisions made by the Taskforce.
How can I get involved?
Young people who belong to a BYC member can apply to join the Taskforce. We will also be making other arrangements for people to get involved in Commonwealth activities during this week.
Where can I find more information?