Commonwealth Youth Forum 2009

Commonwealth Youth Forum Fact Sheet

Delegates will be arriving for the Commonwealth Youth Forum today.

You can find out more about the Forum from this fact sheet on the CHOGM website.

You can find a copy of the text below:

What is the Commonwealth Youth Forum?

The Commonwealth Youth Forum, more popularly known as the “CYF”, is an event which brings together young people from the Commonwealth nations to discuss issues of contemporary importance, and enables them to identify their own agendas and prioritize issues of importance to youth. The CYF provides an independent platform for representatives of the Commonwealth member countries to consider the Youth agenda at the same time as the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

What is the role of the National Secretariat for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting?

The National Secretariat for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, in collaboration with the Commonwealth Youth Program (CYP) and the Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council (CYEC) coordinates and resources the CYF. The National Secretariat has overall responsibility for coordinating the CHOGM and all of its associated events.

What is the Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council (CYEC)?

CYEC is a youth development Civil Society Organization (CSO) which believes young adults are an essential resource for the development of Commonwealth nations. The organization supports youth-led development activities and high quality community-based youth exchange. It promotes young people’s skills exchange, youth organization capacity-building and inter-change, and provides a platform for young people’s voices to be heard throughout the Commonwealth. CYEC is the founder, facilitator and supporter of the Commonwealth Youth Forum which has developed as a pan Commonwealth platform for young people to share concerns and recommendations with the wider Commonwealth at the time of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and beyond.

What is the Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP)?

CYP works to engage and empower young people between the ages of 15 and 29 to enhance their contribution to development. The organization’s mission is grounded within a rights based approach, guided by the realities facing young people in the Commonwealth, and anchored in the belief that young people are:

  • A force for peace, democracy, equality and good governance;
  • A catalyst for global consensus building; and
  • An essential resource for poverty eradication and sustainable development.

How many CYF’s have been held in the past?

Commonwealth Youth Fora have been held alongside CHOGM gatherings in:

  • Edinburgh, Scotland in 1997;
  • Durban, South Africa in 1999;
  • Gold Coast, Australia in October, 2001;
  • Abuja, Nigeria in 2003;
  • Malta in November, 2005 and
  • Entebbe, Uganda in 2007

This year’s CYF will be the seventh and is therefore called “CYF7”

When will the CYF7 be held?

Saturday 21– Friday 27 November, 2009.

Where will the CYF7 be held?

CYF7 will be held in both Tobago and Trinidad respectively. From November 21-23, the Forum will be held in Tobago at Vanguard Holdings Limited, formerly Tobago Hilton and will continue in Trinidad from November 23-27 on the Caribbean Princess Cruise Ship.

How often is the CYF organized?

CYF is organized every two (2) years to coincide with the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

Why have a CYF?

  • To develop young people’s understanding of the Commonwealth and its values;
  • To create a platform for young people to contribute to Commonwealth and CHOGM agendas; and
  • To promote networking and interchange between young people and their organisations.

What is the theme?

CYF7’s theme is: Invest in Youth, Sustain the World.

What will be the sub-themes discussed at CYF7?

  • Youth Involvement in Decision Making
  • Economic Crisis
  • Climate Change
  • Peace Building

Who attends the CYF?

  • Youth between the ages of 18 -29

How many people can attend the CYF7?

A total of 600 youth comprising both local and international delegates will attend the Forum

How many CYF7 delegates will come from outside of Trinidad and Tobago?

Approximately 150 international delegates are expected to attend.

What is the event schedule?

Friday 20th November

  • Arrivals
  • Registration
  • Welcome event

Saturday 21st November

  • Opening Ceremony
  • Orientation
  • Keynote Plenary – Invest in Youth, Sustain the World
  • Assembly 1

Sunday 22nd November

  • Thematic Plenary – Youth Involvement in Decision Making
  • Assembly 2
  • Cultural Night

Monday 23rd November

  • Learning Journeys
  • Sail to Trinidad
  • Registration and Check-in on Caribbean Princess

Tuesday 24th November

  • Plenary - Orientation
  • Thematic Plenary 2 – Promoting Economic Growth: Building Sustainable Livelihoods
  • Assembly 3
  • Thematic Plenary 3 – Peace Building
  • Assembly 4
  • Skills Building

Wednesday 25th November

  • Thematic Plenary 4 – Climate Change
  • Assembly 5
  • Presentation of Foreign Ministers Statement to Plenary
  • Skills Building 3
  • Foreign Ministers Dialogue
  • Action Plan Synchronization
  • Communiqué discussion

Thursday 26th November

  • Presentation of Action Plan – Networks and Individual
  • Skills Building 3
  • Closing Ceremony
  • Reception
  • Visit to Commonwealth People’s Forum: People’s Space

Friday 27th November

  • Evaluation Plenary
  • Creative Presentations
  • Sports
  • Shopping
  • Cultural Fiesta

What are the Learning Journeys?

Learning Journeys are educational tours which allow participants to experience some of Tobago’s Highlights. During these tours of discovery, participants interact with nature, their surroundings and their peers, ensuring that they leave with an experience that has contributed to both social and personal development. Recommended tours include:

  • Tobago Cocoa Estate
  • Little Tobago Bird Sanctuary
  • Argyle Waterfalls
  • City Tour/Rain Forest
  • Buccoo Nylon Pool
  • Speyside
  • Island Tour

What is the People’s Space?

An exciting aspect of the 2009 CHOGM is the People’s Space, which will take place in the Queen’s Park Savannah. The People’s Space will be an open, interactive area and a hive of activity featuring cultural performances, film, workshops and hands-on activities.

Commonwealth Flags
Opening ceremony
Dancing at the Ceremony
Youth in Decision Making Plenary

The Commonwealth Youth Forum 2009 took place in November in Trinidad and Tobago. Read about it here.