The election results were announced on the 26th November 2015 and the new executives took their oath to serve the young people of the Commonwealth. With 1.2 billion young people representing 60% of the population of the Commonwealth aged 29 years and below the task is no easy one.
Following three months for the handover, the Executives met once again in London to commemorate Commonwealth Day and undertake a leadership training during Commonwealth week.
This is a short summary of the time in London.
The meetings began on Sunday the 13th March as young people gathered to learn about the different youth networks and proceed to the Welcome Dinner.
Monday the 14th March was Commonwealth Day, a public holiday at the Commonwealth Secretariat, but it made us wonder how many people around the world were celebrating the day. There were two highlights of the day with the first being the attendance of the Commonwealth Observance service in Westminster Abbey and the second the reception that followed.
The Commonwealth Youth Council was included and during the service with Mr Kishva Ambigapathy, the Chairperson, was privileged to carry the Royal Mace as he escorted the Royal Family to their seats. Miss Angelique Pouponneau, carried the Commonwealth flag escorting the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth to his seat. The other executives were also in attendance to this event also attended by Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations, Prime Minister Muscat of Malta, Ellie Goulding and Queen’s Young Leader Sara Ezabe of Malta.
The service can be watched on the link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0745hs1/the-queens-90th-birthday-a-service-of-celebration-for-commonwealth-day?fb_action_ids=10207958738380785&fb_action_types=og.shares&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B836405349821409%5D&action_type_map=%5B
Following the service, His Excellency Khamalesh Sharma hosted a reception at the Commonwealth Secretariat where the executives had the opportunity to meet the executives, Commonwealth scholars, Commonwealth youth awardees and Para-Olympians.
From Tuesday to Friday the leadership training intensified as we learnt to sharpen our skills from taking questions from journalists, to results based management and learning about the work of the Secretariat.
On the 17th March we celebrated young people and their achievements with the Commonwealth Youth Awards.
You can watch this on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uip-KKFoFco
Throughout the week the evenings were littered with meetings as the different youth networks came together to discuss strengthening the institutions, forging partnership, and working towards our plan for the next 2 years.
The strategic plan will soon be published but the four areas of priority identified are:
- Climate Change
- Peace-building and leadership training
- Professionalisation of youth work and sexual and reproductive health.
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