More than 1500 people will gather in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo from May 6th to May 10th, for the World Conference on Youth 2014. The conference, hosted by the Sri Lankan government, will run under the theme “Mainstreaming Youth in the Post 2015 Development Agenda” and delegates aim to finalize an outcome document which will, henceforth, be known as the Colombo Declaration on Youth. WCY2014 will focus on seven foundations and seven thematic areas, covering a range of issues affecting youth development today.
Thanks to the internet, a good number of the delegates have already started connecting and breaking the virtual ice, in preparation for Colombo. Isn’t it cool how much we can do with these social networks?
As one of the international social media fellows for the conference, I reached out to some of them, in a bid to know what their expectations for the Conference are. The responses were as varied as their backgrounds and experiences, yet similar in direction and purpose.
From New Zealand, Oliver Ibbetson shows great interest in the many connection opportunities the conference will offer:
“I think the conference will go really well and we will produce an amazing document, but the most important thing, and the most exciting thing for me is that we are bringing together hundreds of really amazing young people who are all doing amazing things. Because we start to add each other on social media, we will have these friendships and connections for life. So in 20 years’ time, we will still be connected, and we can Facebook message each other, and support each other’s projects, and we can and will make a positive impact on the globe.”
In the Ghanaian capital, Oko Armah Francis is preparing his contributions to the outcome document, with the hope that the views of young people all over the world will be represented:
“Also expect we young people to prove ourselves to ministers and other delegated officials at WCY that when given the chance, we meaningfully participate and work together to create change. To collaborate with great young change makers in future programmes on global themes reflected in the outcome document. Let’s all remember the conference may be for only a week but the real work begins when we get back home.”
Diego Callisto is from Brazil and hopes, among other things, that the Conference will help to …
“…strengthen the protection of young women through human rights policies that give visibility to women regarding their rights in order to propose more stringent punitive laws regarding violence against women.”
Liberia will be represented by Jarius Arkie Tarr who had this to share:
“I would like to meet new friends, build new collaborative partnership on behalf of my organization and most of all, enjoy my time and participation to the benefit of the youth of the world.”
Han Aziza Adil is from the Philippines and while she has great expectations for the conference, she takes time to acknowledge that representing one’s country comes with a responsibility. Her words:
“I bet Sri Lanka has high expectations of us as well and let’s prove to them that we can do so much, not only for the future, but also for today. You know what they say, what the heart and mind can perceive and believe, it can Achieve!”
Excitement is at its peak as the Conference date gets closer. Delegates can’t wait to get to Colombo and engage in discussions that will influence the state of the world’s youth, post 2015. Expectations are high and the hope is that effective results will be attained by the end of the conference on May 10th.
Follow me on Twitter @myzzdiamant for live updates from the Conference.