The National Youth Summit is the series introduce by the Center for Sustainability Research and Practice(CSRP) with the aim of bringing together policy makers, young people and relevant stakeholders to consider and discuss the role of young people in decision making and policy implementation with special focus on youth policy development before the next elections. The summit will bring together young people from all parts of Pakistan together. The main objective of the summits is to provide the young people with a platform where they discuss the role of young people in policy making alongside the policy makers. The summit will also provide young people with the opportunity to inform and influence policy makers on the issues that are impacting their lives. The summit will be an annual gathering with equal representation of both males and females including the ethnic minorities.
2nd International Youth Summit Lahore
‘’The Role of Youth in achieving Peace, Education and Sustainable Development’’
17 Sustainable development goals (SDGs) were drafted and agreed by the world leaders at the UN Summit in 2015 as a follow-up of the previous Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with the goal to mobilize stakeholders in tackling global problems and creating a sustainable future for all. One of the main differences between the new SDGs and the previous MDGs is that they pay special attention to the call for global partnership in achieving all the goals with the belief that only joint efforts of governments, business and civil sector can bring a sustainable change.
The SDGs have embraced a corner principle of Global Diplomacy that states that any effort needs to be multi-level oriented and heterogeneously participated. No matter, if we talk about peace, education or sustainable development of our communities, cross-sectoral, cross-country cooperation is essential if we want to achieve long lasting results for present and future youth generation to live in a better, more peaceful and sustainable world.
During the Summit we will look into the ways to strengthen cooperation and joint efforts to co-create sustainable development in the areas of education and peace.
The greatest challenge for our generation is to make the transition from the brown, fossil-fuelled economy that built and powered the 20th Century industrial civilization – to a green, renewable and sustainable economy which the world will require as fossil fuels will run out (according to some scientific predictions) towards the end of the 21st century. It is not just fossil fuels that are running out: the world is approaching ‘peak in everything and everywhere’ – and it is today’s youth generation who are, willingly or not, going to have to address that challenge. In fact, we might be one of the last generations who still have the time to bring a sustainable change to the world. No more time for excuses. We have to do it! And to do it right!
Lahore, 26 November to 2 December, 2018 – The initiative of International Youth Summit Lahore, 2018 has been taken by Centre For Sustainability, Research and Practice CSRP, University of Lahore. It was a second summit in the series, as first being held last year in November that was itself a huge success.
Delegates participated from over 35 countries and from every nook of Pakistan, who were shortlisted after reviewing more than 7000 submitted applications. The theme of the summit was Peace, Culture and Inclusive Societies and its objectives were to highlight a dynamic and principled process of promoting the value, relations and institutions that enable youth to participate in social, economic, cultural and political life and was divided into academic sessions, social and networking activities, cultural night and musical performance, awards night and excursion trips to Parliament of Pakistan and Chinese Embassy in Islamabad, and also to walled city in Lahore and Wahgah Border.
Day First- The opening ceremony was attended by, Shehryar Khan Afridi¸ federal state minister for interior. Awais Raoof, Chairman University of Lahore, welcomed the young leaders and the chief guest on behalf of the University and ensured of their comfortable stay at the campus. The honorable chief guest, officially welcomed the delegates at state level and lauded the efforts of this highly-needed series of the summit in achieving multiple goals, including portraying the actual positive image of Pakistan through such young ambassadors at international platform, which was then proceeded by dinner and dialogue between delegates and the Interior Minister.
Day Two- The focus theme of this day was on ‘Peace’. Center for Security, Strategy and Policy Research (CPSSR) took charge of the day’s activities and sessions. On the topic of ‘Social media and the populist nationalism’, the first panel was moderated by Salman Zaidi. The Speakers were Fahad Hussain, Ayesha Raja and Umar Javed. They concluded that in societies there is lag of expression and in this technological age the populism can be understood through total expression and it creates a balance between expression and romantic expression. Populism is a style of politics where multiculturalism and economy take place as simplifying actions. Individual can bring change in the society through taking the decision by them because the judgmental attitude cause to opinion.
It was proceeded by a panel on ‘Culture of Peace: Youth as the Agent of Change’. It was joined by Awais Raoof, Tania Adam khan, and Shaan Shahid, a renowned Pakistani actor. They emphasized that youth play the vital role in peaking any opportunity through various sources as social media is the one where social mobility, cultural mobility. It just depends on how they take action and empower themselves like the youth of Balochistan. IYSL is one of those platforms where young leaders play their role efficiently. Some basic consequences where the social mobility, cultural mobility achieve its goals.
The session proceeded with the title ‘Peace Security and Sustainability’ and the speakers were Khalid Banuri, Salma Malik, Hassan Akbar and Zeeshan Shahid Khan. The topic was ‘Role of Youth in International Peace and Security. Ksenia Pirnavskaya, Sitara Noor and Sufian Ullah discussed about Peace and Sustainability from the lens of Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Tunisian ambassador to Pakistan also witnessed the sessions while meeting the delegate from Tunisia.
After the session the night floor was opened for the cultural night where all the delegates wore their cultural dresses and the basic cultural dances of Pakistan was performed, beside some of the countries exhibited their stalls in which they decorated their stalls with their cultural heritages, food and dresses along with their flags.
Day third- Panel first on ‘Cross culture communication’ was moderated by Rabia Akhtar and the speakers were Hajer Chilla Ep Bin Sassi (Tunisia ministry of cultural affairs), Romina Khursheed Alam (Member of National Assembly), Todd Shea (CEO CDRS), Islam Wazir (academic, researcher and analyst), Shumaiyla (digital rights foundation). They discussed how cross cultural communication makes the assessment of one’s personality characteristics a bit difficult because what it has always been judged is against the cultural standards and that becomes one of the main factors or barriers for the cross cultural communication. While answering a delegate the panelist replied that the practice of the cross cultural communication must be first started at home. When a child at home is taught to accept and respect other culture that, in fact, grows the seed of peace which can be the signal of a sparkling and bright future
In Plenary session, there was a panel discussion with the topic ‘Cultural violence and its disabling implications on society’. The foreign delegates acted as the speakers: Dejen, Belyaeva Anastasia, Zahra Sadat and Lena. It was moderated by Ahmed Ali Naqvi. The things which were discussed in the panel were that we do not live in the world of subject but we live in the world of fact. We must recognize and identify that how a culture should be a symbol of peace. To reject the violence is to bring humanity despite gender difference. If we don’t define violence, we cannot recognize that it is violence. There are different types of violence and it is being implemented in different culture and societies. The relation with in the structural, direct and cultural violence. We do not understand people’s way of life, once understood it will lead to take action against, to take over the leading role to finish.
Another panel lead with 3rd panel the topic culture and diversity sensitivity in curriculum and the speakers were: Michael Ahster Thomson, Burcea Angelica, Azeem baig, Maria Iqbal Tarana moderated by Nida Usman Chaudry; Regional wars play the vital role in changing our dynamics, different ideologies were introduced. It dispersed the beauty of humanity. Mashal Khan’s case is one of the examples that people, but there is yet a positive task behind it that if one-fourth of people did wrong and three-fourth of the people took action and stood up against as one nation. Educating teachers to be culturally sensitive is a challenge, as to train them is essential in order to be ready and work on the students from different backgrounds and ethnicities. Equal opportunities must be provided for both males and females. The day continued with the formal dinner hosted by Lake City near by the golf club there.
- Youth Talks
Day four – It began with the panel speakers: Sania Ashiq, Guzal, Maryam Khan, Syed Ali Raza and moderated by Naseem Khan Achakzai with the topic of ‘Role of young policy makers in creating inclusive society’. For recognizing the role of young policy makers the evaluation of the relationship between citizen and state is must. The relationship revolves around the basic components of questioning authority. Youth play its role in open spaces where the digital age has given us an immense power as channel. Participation in social media and various campaigns helped them in decision and policy making. Unfortunately, youth in Pakistan is misdirected by some ethnic powers, extremist ideologies and that deviate them from their correct path and lead them negatively. There are many barriers and factors behind achieving the real objectives of including them in policy and decision making that government should apply their own policy as sports. Youth mustn’t expect government only; they should come out themselves to take initiatives. Both youth and government must play their role from their side for the inclusive society.
The night stage was again decorated for the performance of music society of UoL to entertain the delegates and the delegates were awarded by the souvenirs, followed by dinner and then social networking activity of final clans meeting among the delegates in various groups.
Day five- International delegates after attending 3 days’ different sessions passionately ready to visit the walled city Lahore. They first visited National history museum where after having orientation about the museum, they were divided into different groups with a guide to explain the history with showing the museum. The visit proved to be informative about knowing the history before and after independence of Pakistan including the Pakistan’s background in film industry and sports. The second destination where they departed for was ‘Badshahi Mosque’ Pakistan’s second largest mosque. The brief information there about its establishment, infrastructure, and establishers amused the delegates. Beside, “Sheesh mehel” where the empires used to live with a very particular life style was visited and welcomed there with the very same way. Day came to an end with the dinner hosted at ‘The POET’ restaurant and Raja Yasir Humayun Sarfaraz, Punjab Higher Education Minister, where he welcomed all the international delegates on behalf of the provincial government and also briefly spoke on historical significance of Lahore and wished the bright future and prosperity for all countries.
The delegates started their trip for Islamabad. They visited the Chinese Embassy in Islamabad and were greeted by the Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan who praised the initiative and gave blessings for Pak-china relations. Later, the delegates were given a tour of the Parliament House. Legislators, including Sana Jamali, Mushahid Hussain, Romina Khursheed Alam and Shibli Faraz being leader of the house greeted them and gave lectures to promote positive image of Pakistan being its ambassdors. Delegates gave speeches on gratitude and what they had learnt. The ambassador of Poland to Pakistan came to visit his nationals. Later they were taken to the Jinnah center for shopping before coming back.
The last of the summit started with the brunch and then delegates were taken to Wahga border where they experienced parade and then were back for the closing ceremony. In closing ceremony, Jam Kamal Khan, the Chief Minister Balochistan was the chief guest of the occasion where he said this summit was a symbol of love, peace and harmony and expressed gratitude for Executive Director CSRP Mr Naseem Khan Achakzai and highly credited the Chairman University of Lahore.
At the end, every foreign delegate, sharing their views about their one week experience in Pakistan as guests, loved Pakistan and its hospitality and ended their opinion on a slogan of ‘Pakistan Zindabad’, Long Live Pakistan. Finally, the delegates started their journey back to their countries and cities with lots of positive memories of the 2nd International Youth Summit Lahore, 2018 and Pakistan.
We have a powerful potential in our youth, and we must have the courage to change old ideas and practices so that we may direct their power toward good ends.
Youth is the best time to be rich, and the best time to be poor. .