Gunjan Mhapankar | Abigail Theano-Pudwill
The Commonwealth Youth Forum (CYF) provides an opportunity for young people of the Commonwealth to build cross-cultural connections and networks, debate challenges facing its young people, and agree to youth-lead initiatives to influence decision makers and ensure that young people have a voice in its future.
The agenda for the Commonwealth Youth Forum is developed by an International Taskforce, made up of young leaders from across the Commonwealth, working in partnership with the Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC).
The Youth Forum also incorporates the CYC General Assembly and elections.
The outcomes of the Youth Forum are outlined in a communiqué that will be presented to Commonwealth leaders at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting directly following the end of the Commonwealth Youth Forum.
The 11th CYF was held in London, UK (April 16-18th 2018). For more information about the 11th CYF - click here
The 10th CYF was held in St. Paul’s Bay, Malta ( November 21-25th 2015). To read the proceedings - click here
The origins of the Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC) lie within the Commonwealth Youth Forum. The CYF has been taking place alongside the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), and brings together national youth delegates (up to two from each country) to discuss and identify the key issues for youth within the Commonwealth. The outcome document from each CYF is Youth Declaration and is presented to the Heads of Government on behalf of the youth of the Commonwealth.
In 2013, youth identified that instead of having a one-time event to present this information, it was necessary to create a body that could advocate on behalf of youth of the Commonwealth to Heads of Government on a consistent basis. Therefore, at the CYF in Sri Lanka, national youth delegates approved the creation of the CYC and elected the first executive positions. The executive positions are two-year terms to be elected by the national youth delegates at each CYF. The role of the executive is to advocate for the demands/issues in the CYF outcome document/agenda - through partnerships with governments and youth organizations, and through support/initiating/promoting programs, campaigns and activities that support the agenda.
Since then, the CYC has found that it needed further support and engagement from Commonwealth youth. Therefore, in 2015 the CYC initiated the role of National Youth Delegates (NYDs) which indicates that the two youth representatives sent from each Commonwealth country hold two-year terms along with their elected CYC. This is to assist in promoting the work of the CYC across the Commonwealth but also to have representatives in each country that could initiate actionable items from the outcome document/agenda.
Learn more about the CYC:
Head of the Commonwealth
Secretary General of the Commonwealth of Nations, 2016-
The Commonwealth Secretary-General (1965-1975)