President Mahinda Rajapaksa will inaugurate the World Conference on Youth (WCY) 2014 at the Magampura Ruhunupura International Conference Centre today (6).
The World Conference on Youth 2014, “Mainstreaming Youth in the Post-2015 Development Agenda” will take place from 6 to 10 May, 2014 in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
The conference has a unique aim of producing a joint outcome document between states and youth called the "Colombo Action Plan".
Sending a message of greetings to the WCY 2014 being held in Colombo the President said this conference is held at a most appropriate time when Sri Lanka has crossed the threshold to peace and is progressing on the path of reconciliation and development where youth have a significant contribution to make.
“The peace that we cherish in Sri Lanka today follows three decades of armed conflict and terrorism, in which our youth faced much suffering, hardship and obstruction to progress,” he further said.
The National Policy of Sri Lanka states: “This century belongs to the youth. It is the century of knowledge.” This clearly shows the importance given to the progress of youth in the country, and the emphasis on listening to the voice of youth in the tasks of national development, the message added.
In this new age of technological progress, especially with the advances in Information Technology, the youth of a country have increasing opportunities to go forward through innovation and create new opportunities for social advancement, President Rajapaksa said.
“I note with great satisfaction the large number of youth participants at this event representing difference countries and societies in a rich diversity of peoples and cultures. I am glad that the Sri Lankan delegation includes youth representatives from our indigenous communities and the differently abled. Your deliberations will make an important contribution to world strategies on youth in the coming decades”.
I welcome all foreign participants to Sri Lanka and trust you will enjoy the friendship and hospitality of our people. I commend the contribution of many organizations and individuals to make this conference a success, he said.
I wish this World Youth Conference 2014 every success in the task of addressing the cause of youth and their wellbeing in the world today, the President added.
The Conference is expected to bring together 1500 participants, half of them young people, and 150 of them will come from marginalized backgrounds, making the conference one of the most well represented youth events at the global level. The pre-conference process is led by an independent international youth task force which represents major global youth organizations and regional platforms ensuring regional and gender balance.