Intro: WOSY’s 5th International Youth Summit was structured on the dimensions of Peace and Economic Development.
“Our youth must always be free, discussing and exchanging ideas concerned with what is happening throughout the entire world.” said Che Guevara.
Youth is a fountain of energy, and young minds are torchbearers of change. With this focus in mind and with 400 international students from across 60 countries, the chapter on the role of youth in building nations was spelled effectively in the two day International Youth Summit 2015 for NextGen World organized by World Organisation and Students and Youth (WOSY) at National Agricultural Science Complex in PUSA, New Delhi on February 20 and 21, 2015.
In attendance were 250 students from India, and such a diverse attendance was called to make the Indian youth along with the international participants aware of the foreign policy initiatives taken by the new government, and to prod them through discussions debates and interaction with specialists to spearhead the process of peace and stability; to generate youth opinion and organise them to fight against terrorism and religious fanaticism; to build their knowledge about the present terror challenges globally, and to bring them together to work for social justice and humanity.
India has always believed in the idea of world as a global village (vasudhaiva kutumbakam). Under the leadership of Narendra Modi, India is vigorously engaged in the process of rewriting the rules of global engagement. After the BJP-led NDA government came into power in May 2014, India’s ‘Neighbours First’ policy also stems from a similar thought process. The foreign policy initiatives have also been in line with the idea a building fruitful and engaging interconnectedness with the world.
Reflecting upon the Indian government initiative, and the role of youth in global affairs, Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj after inaugurating the International Youth Summit said, “Youthful energies need to be harnessed and leveraged in the right direction. And here, under this government, there is plenty to choose from in areas, where you can make a lot of difference. Dynasty is no longer destiny; talent is destiny.”
She outlined the merits of the foreign policy of the government and said that economic development is a driving force for India’s foreign policy. She said, “Our policies are youth centric and we are working to build a better India. Our neighbouring countries have a special place in our hearts which is why we invited the heads of all SAARC countries in the swearing in of the government.
Our concerns go beyond the borders as we know that we have a collective future. Our concerns move even further to even parts far away from us; which is why happenings in Syria and Nigeria are of great concern for us. We are taking those happenings seriously.” She said that the youth of the entire world should make up a voice for world peace which is what WOSY has been doing right since its inception in 1985.
Prof Ashwani Mahapatra, West Asian Studies, JNU highlighted that the young are the catalyst for change in this region. In the past the young were taught not to speak but now they have begun to speak.
Dr Rashmi Singh Chairperson, WOSY inspired the youth with her wise words: “The next generation is about fundamentals. We have to fight the force of terrorism with education. GOVERNANCE is the new grammar of politics.” Ms Sujata Mehta Secretary (MER) Ministry of External Affairs speaking on Development & Peace said that H1N1, hurricanes and tornadoes know no national boundaries. We need to cooperate, aims cannot be met by anyone country alone.
The two day summit had various sessions including opportunity and challenges in West Asia North Africa (WANA), South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and African Union (AU). Youngsters from different countries actively took part in the discussion of “How the next generation of the world should be?” Many prominent educationists, professors and other expertise became the part of this international summit.
A young medical student from Afghanistan questioned the dignitaries of why her country is slipping again into the hands of Taliban.
All the voices proclaimed loudly in various discussion and debates, the right to voice of democracy, right to practice their professions and the right to live in normalcy.
Sunil Ambekar, member of WOSY’s Advisory Council, said that it is the responsibility of our youth to make a better world for a better future.
(With inputs from Priyanka Taneja)