The informal ministerial meeting of the World Conference on Youth (WCY) 2014 took place in Hambantota today (May 6) following the opening ceremony with Sri Lanka’s Minister of Youth Affairs and Skills Development Mr. Dullas Alahapperuma being appointed the Chair of the meeting.
Minister Alahapperuma, welcoming the delegates, stated that among the many initiatives of ministries dealing with youth-related affairs, the mechanism to organize the youth in the country through youth clubs has been one of the priorities in Sri Lanka. He also added that there are 14,000 youth clubs in Sri Lanka at present with more than 600,000 members networking from village to town. Additionally, Sri Lanka has launched its National Youth Policy this year, formulating three pillars that focus mainly on ensuring, enabling and empowering the youth, the Minister added.
The Minister also said that the unique nature of the youth conference is that it seeks to create a synergy between youth and governments of the world.
During the discussion, the Seychelles Minister for Social Affairs, Community Development and Sports stated that he is pleased that the conference is addressing crucial issues such as youth challenges in the modern world.
“Whilst we strive to give our youth every opportunity to dream and fulfill their most cherished dreams, we must also promote universal values that will make this world a better place,” he said.
The CEO of the National Youth Authority of Ghana Mr. Ras Mubarak, Minister of Youth and Sports of Maldives Mr. Mohamed Maleeh Jamal, Minister of Youth and Sports of Zambia Mr. Christopher Mulenga, State Minister of Youth and Sports of Bangladesh Mr. Shri Biren Sikder, Assistant Minister for Youth of Serbia Ms. Snezana Klasnja and ministers representing the Republic of Kenya were also present at this event.
Deputy Minister of External Affairs Mr. Neomal Perera, Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York Dr. Palitha Kohona and Chairman of the National Youth Services Council Mr. Lalith Piyum Perera were also present at the meeting representing Sri Lanka.