A committee established to organize the fourth National Youth Parliament (NYP) event has confirmed all is set for the next Youth Parliament to happen from the 15th – 19th October 2018 with the theme, “Youth Empowerment for sustainable livelihoods: Leave no one behind”.
This is the 4th Youth Parliament event to be organized.
Previously, the first youth Parliament was held in 2009, the second in 2012, a regional youth Parliament in 2014 and third in 2016 with a lot of success stories.
Some participants of past events are now studying politics and law at higher levels while others are contributing back to their communities in different ways.
Chairperson of the NYP organizing committee Ms. Marisa Pepa, in a statement said there was great interest from youths to participate and the committee had received a total of one hundred and thirty applicants for this year’s event.
These applications screening is based on three main criteria’s which are; leadership capacity, community involvement and the level of qualifications.
Youth parliament’s previous program was school based but this year for the first time the youth parliament model is community based.
The Organizing committee also received a wide range of very impressive applicants, however, due to limited space only 25 young men and 25 young women got selected.
The National Parliament of Solomon Islands embraces youth participation and some of the various different activities through its education program include educational school tours (which brings in hundreds of school students each year) as well as hosting commonwealth school debate that focuses at regional and international youth agenda.
Chairperson of the NYP working committee Ms Marisa Pepa says such program engages young people with Parliament as the highest institution of the land. She adds participants will learn practical and educational experience of our parliamentary system, in an enjoyable and innovative manner.
“Engaging youths in such program also allows youths to express their ideas, concerns and expectations. It develops confidence, encourages teamwork and promotes a broader awareness among young people of community issues and process of government in which those issues can be addressed” Marisa expressed.
The 50 selected youths were already briefed early this month on the expectations of the program. Ms Marisa during the briefing told the Youth Parliamentarians that this program will give them the opportunity to also experience a little of the life of a politician and they will also learn about procedures, practices and processes of Parliament during the week.
The sessions on Monday 15th –Wed 17th will be closed sessions, only for the youth parliamentarians but the Thursday 18th session is open for the public to witness the Youth Parliament debate that will take place in the Parliament Chamber.
Topic for debate is “Compulsory Voting will ensure Peace-building and Social Inclusion”.
Facilitators will talk about the Separation of Powers, the role of parliamentary democracy in Solomon Islands and the topic during the closed sessions to prepare the youth parliamentarians for the debate proper on Thursday 18th October. It will also be televised on TTV , live broadcasted on SIBC and live streamed on Parliament’s Facebook page.
This four days event is part of the Parliamentary Civic Education Department (PCED) work plan, co- hosted by the Ministry of women, youth, children and family affairs (WYCFA) and supported by Oxfam, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) through the peace-building fund and UN Women and the Australian High Commission.