Brunei’s Khairunnisa off to Baku to attend un-backed global forum on youth policies

ONE Bruneian youth will attend the United Nations-backed Global Forum on Youth Policies in Azerbaijan’s capital of Baku to discuss ways of implementing national policies that are tailored to the current generation’s needs.

Khairunnisa Ash’ari of Green Brunei will join governments and parliaments, youth networks and movements, research and development communities to examine how youth policy can be implemented in war zones, post-conflict settings, and tackle youth unemployment.

Khairunnisa, who is involved with Brunei Youth Council and other NGOs such as the ASEAN Youth Volunteer Programme, was the recipient of Youth Service Award last year and the ASEAN Youth Award recipient this year.

Speaking to The Brunei Times before her departure at the Brunei International Airport, Khairunnisa said she saw the call for applications from Facebook and decided to try her luck.

She said more than 4,700 people had applied and she was one of 200 people who were selected for the forum, which will take place on October 28-30.

“There will be 700 participants consisting of government officials, youth policy practitioners and youth leaders. As far as I know I will be the only Bruneian attending,” she added.

She is also expected to join representatives from the Commonwealth Secretariat and UN Major Group for Children and Youth as one of the panellists during one of the sessions.

Khairunnisa will speak during the ‘Building Monitoring and Evaluation Systems’ session, alongside Katherine Ellis, director of Youth Affairs at Commonwealth Secretariat, Aashish Khullar from the UN Major Group for Children and Youth and Sergey Pospelov, head of Russia’s Federal Agency on Youth Affairs.

Sharing how the forum is relevant to Brunei, Khairunnisa said the Sultanate was in the process of reviewing its national youth policy.

The Brunei Youth Council will be organising the Brunei Youth Forum next month, where the national youth policy will be one of the topics for discussion. NGO representatives will have the opportunity to discuss and provide recommendations to the policy and make it more relevant for today’s youth, she added.

According to a statement from UN, of 198 countries worldwide, only 122 have national youth policies in place – from only 99 countries in 2013.

The rise in figure shows that governments are getting more aware of the need for legal and policy frameworks that respond adequately to young people’s needs, it added.

Khairunnisa went on to say that the forum would be a good opportunity to learn best practices from other countries and learn tools and mechanisms to review the policy more effectively.

Source: The Brunei Times