The Commonwealth is a diverse community of 56 nations that work together to promote prosperity, democracy and peace.
In June 2022, Rwanda hosted the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). Leaders cutting across all fields such as politics, business and youth- from all the member countries- gathered in Kigali.
They came together to reaffirm our common values, address the shared global challenges we face and agree upon how to work to create a better future for all our citizens, particularly young people.
The Commonwealth Youth Forum is held during Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). This year it was hosted by the Rwandan government and the Commonwealth Secretariat - marking the 12th edition on the CYF since its inception in 1998.
The youth forum is the centre piece of the Commonwealth’s youth engagement strategy and is the highest decision-making forum for young people in the Commonwealth. It brings young people together to build international youth networks, exchange ideas and contribute to international policy-making. It is designed to precede the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) so that an official communique can be presented to the various Heads of Government afterwards - detailing young people’s needs.
The Commonwealth Youth Forum will follow the same theme as the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. This year in 2022, it centred around 'Taking Charge of Our Future'. This encompassed discussing different challenges that fell under the themes of governance and the rule of law, human capital development, digital innovation, trade and entrepreneurship, health and covid, and sustainability and climate change.
At the Commonwealth Youth Forum, all of these issues are tackled from a youth perspective, which is at the heart of the Commonwealth as 60% of the Commonwealth population is under 30 (The Commonwealth Secretariat, 2022). Approximately 300 representatives of national youth councils, youth bodies, youth organisations, youth leaders, youth workers, young professionals and experts from across the Commonwealth were in attendance.
The two official UK delegates are Elif True and William Awomoyi. They attended the Commonwealth Youth Council General Assembly and voted on behalf of the UK on poicy priorities such as the adoption of the 2022 Commonwealth Youth Declaration and action plan. They also vote in the election of the Commonwealth Youth Council executives (an elected group of young people tasked with overseeing the youth council).
The Commonwealth Youth Council is a network and a coalition of the all the various national youth councils of the member state countries. It is recognised as the official representative voice of more than 1.2 billion young people in the Commonwealth.