World Youth Conference being held in Belize Print E-mail
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Thursday, 09 November 2017 00:00

The 5th annual World Youth Conference was held this year at the Princess Ramada Hotel under the theme “Globally Running to 2030, Being Sustainably Strong.” The weeklong conference, from November 6-10, saw the participation of over 250 youths bearing representation of over 40 countries. The gathering is a meeting of youths to discuss how they are directly involved in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This year’s conference was particularly special as it is the first year that the conference has been held in the western hemisphere, and Belize is lucky to have been the hosting place. This represents quite a significant feat for the small country and, according to Dominique Noralez, acting President, National Youth Council, Belize’s geographic positioning allows for a broader participation from the Americas and Caribbean.

The opportunity for Belizean youth to directly contribute toward the Youth Development Agenda is fairly new, says Noralez, and the works in regional and international youth departments will be continued to the Commonwealth Youth Council. “It gives the young people in this part of the world the realness that they are involved in meaningful participation instead of watching decisions which will impact you to be made by other persons,” said Noralez. A collective of sessions were held in which a repertoire will be submitted in a document which will make up the new template of the declaration. That template will be reviewed by all youth related bodies and submitted to be signed.

The conference started on Monday, November 6 with the opening ceremony and will end on Thursday, November 9 with the signing of the “Mahogany Declaration”, the youth document on the commitment to the SDGs which will be used as a global agenda which youths will take back to their respective countries as a guideline to be used in areas of healthcare, economics, and the like, as well as the Youth Awards.