The Community of Democracies Youth Forum (July 23, 23, 2020) gathered democracy leaders from across the world

The Community of Democracies Youth Forum gathered democracy leaders from across the world

The Community of Democracies digital Youth Forum, organized during July 23 and 24, 2020 by the Romanian Presidency of the CoD and the Secretariat, gathered representatives of global and regional youth networks from locations around the world to discuss political and civic engagement.

The Youth Forum was organized as part of celebrations of the 20th Anniversary of the Community of Democracies (CoD) to highlight the importance of youth inclusion as a key element of strong sustainable democracies. Youth empowerment is a priority of the current Presidency of the Community of Democracies, Romania, and a cross-cutting theme mainstreamed into all CoD activities.

As the the Bucharest Statement, adopted at the Anniversary Conference that marked 20 years since the adoption of the Warsaw Declaration, held on June 26 2020, states: „democracies are best equipped to mobilize and ensure that all elements of society work together, adapt to new circumstances, and maximize inclusive joint efforts, including full and meaningful participation of youth in decision-making”.

The event provided a global platform for representatives of youth-led organizations and networks to discuss political and civic participation, share best practices, and exchange ideas on innovative ways of advancing youth inclusion in public life. The Youth Forum Statement, developed by youth representatives as part of the event, called on governments to adhere to the democratic values and fundamental rights, which are of importance to youth and in line with the Warsaw Declaration principles, including equality, inclusion, and diversity.

The Youth Forum was held in two sessions, both of which are available online:

Youth Forum Session I: with keynote remarks by Foreign Minister of Romania H.E. Mr. Bogdan Aurescu, presentation of the Youth Forum Statement, a panel discussion: “From Activism to Democratic Governance”, and youth speakers’ interventions. The session can be watched here.

Youth Forum Session II: with keynote remarks by Ambassador Simona Mirela Miculescu, Representative of the UN Secretary General, Head of UN Office in Belgrade; a panel discussion: “Youth for Sustainable Development Goals”, youth speakers’ interventions, and closing remarks by the CoD Secretary General Thomas E. Garrett.         The session can be watched here.

Youth speakers’ interventions, held on both sessions, included CoDYouthLead Voices by activists from 17 countries who are part of the newly launched #CoDYouthLeads campaign.

For quotes and highlights from the Youth Forum, please follow CoD Twitter profile @communityofdem, hashtag: #CoDYouthForum.