The Malta Independent 3 March 2024, Sunday
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Commonwealth countries meet to create more initiatives for youths

Sunday, 17 September 2023, 11:00 Last update: about 7 months ago

56 member countries of the Commonwealth met to discuss more proposals and initiatives for the benefit of young people on the 10th anniversary of the Youth Commonwealth Ministers Meeting, with the theme being 'Aiming Higher: Delivering More for Young People in the Commonwealth'.

Among the participating countries, Malta, as an active member of the Commonwealth, was also represented by a delegation led by the Parliamentary Secretary responsible for youths Keith Azzopardi Tanti.

"The Youth Ministers Meeting, led by the Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland KC, held discussions on several topics, including the economy, climate change, the environment, the digital future through Artificial Intelligence, as well as the opportunities that are being presented with the aim that youths will lead these sectors in new horizons for the benefit of all," a government statement read.

Parliamentary Secretary Keith Azzopardi Tanti led a discussion between various representatives of member countries with the theme: 'Bridging the Gap: Enhancing Participation of Young MPs in the Legislative Processes'. He opened the discussion by saying that the young population is growing globally, currently around 1.8 billion in total. However, globally, the participation of young people in politics is only at 2.2%.

"Malta, like several other countries, shares the same challenge of young representation in its political system. We have been working for several years to improve this rate and encourage more young people to enter politics and be active citizens, particularly in the decisions taken for the country's development," Parliamentary Secretary Azzopardi Tanti said.

The Parliamentary Secretary explained several measures that Malta has taken and is taking, in order to be proactive and encourage more young people to participate, including lowering the voting age to 16 years from 18 years of age. He also explained that the Maltese Government is currently in the process of choosing youths to be members of a consultative forum, the Youth Advisory Forum, led by the Prime Minister himself. He continued that these youths will be given the opportunity to give advice to the Government on laws, strategies and plans being discussed at national or international level.

"Through these measures, youths themselves will be part of the solution to the challenges the world is currently facing. Such measures show more confidence in youths and encourage them to speak up," Azzopardi Tanti said.



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