Speaker encourages youth to speak up

Speaker of the Fijian Parliament Hon. Ratu Epeli Nailatikau called on young people to let their voices be heard, whether it’s in their family, school or in their community.

He made this comment while opening the 2019 International Youth Fellowship (IYF) World Cultural Camp in Suva last night. The event was attended by more than 500 school children and youth groups.

“I am convinced that as youth, a critical solution lies within all of you; it is your voice. In this rapidly developing world it is so important to step out and let your voice be heard, whether it’s in your family, school or in your community. What you say can help shape policies that impact lives significantly.

“As Speaker of Parliament, I listen to a lot of vibrant debates in the Parliament that allow for good ideas to find their way to important decisions that impact our nation.

“It is in that vein that I will encourage you to hold meaningful dialogue with one another during the camp, have healthy debates, learn about others and share your ideas in the various sessions you will attend,” Hon. Ratu Epeli said.

He also highlighted that no country is immune to problems such as poverty, unemployment, violence, teenage pregnancies, HIV/AIDS, drugs, obesity diseases and problems that are brought about by unfavourable climatic conditions.

“As young people you can no longer consider these as problems to be taken care of solely by the older generation, it is your time to put up your hand to help your governments make a difference in the lives of people in your communities and be the solution.

“With the advent of modern technology, mobile phones,  the internet and social media, the world we now live in, is more complex  than ever before;  with these have come insurmountable challenges.

“You will know that every nation has its share of problems, as a result of development, and it should  therefore not come as a surprise to you that the world over, including countries in our region, are forever looking for collaborative and practical solutions to address them,” he added.

Young participants from South Korea, Australia and Kiribati also attended the youth camp which ends tomorrow, Wednesday 5th June 2019.