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SUVA, March 28 2018: As advocates of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), AIESEC and the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) signed a collaborative partnership agreement to co-organise the YouthSpeak Forum 2018 as an innovative way to actively engage, inspire and enable the youth of Fiji and the Pacific to act on issues related to SDG13 (Climate Change) and SDG 14 (Life Below Water). The events will be held in the Western, Northern and Central divisions over the coming weeks with confirmed dates to be announced soon. This initiative of engaging youth in climate action in the aftermath of cyclones Josie and Keni, remain in context and extremely timely. 

YouthSpeak Forum is an event powered and organized by AIESEC that takes place in multiple locations globally, bringing top young leaders together with business leaders, thought leaders and experts for a conversation around youth contribution to the global agenda. The aim is to generate actionable ideas that will impact the world.

With the theme Empowering Youth: From Decisions to Actions focusing on SDG 13 and SDG 14, it will bring together Pacific youth and senior leaders to form a diverse cross-sector and multigenerational space for inspiring conversations and actions around pressing issues in the Pacific and will also allow young people to understand the importance of conversing inspiration and collaboration into actions

“AIESEC in Fiji is honoured to co-organize YouthSpeak Forum with PIDF in 2018 as it will be the first time that we organise this unique platform in Fiji and the Pacific,” said Ms. Ginny DucAnh Do, Managing Director of AIESEC in Fiji.

“We believe that the youth today shapes the world tomorrow. As the world’s largest youth-run organisation, AIESEC with PIDF is committing itself to the fulfilment of youth’s potential and building a strong generation of future leaders.

YouthSpeak Forum has been held at the global level with delegates from 120 countries and territories, regional level (Asia, Europe, Africa, Latin America) as well as national level and since its official launch in 2015, the Forum has reached more than 23,500 youth around the globe and engaged 1,000 organisations.

“We are enthusiastic about this new partnership as we have always supported innovative means of youth development and engagement with our partners such as USP, FNU and UniFiji on issues related to renewable energy, climate change, oceans and green/blue economies,” said PIDF Secretary General, François Martel.

The Secretary General said that they are also supporting another youth driven initiatives known as the e-Participatory Observers Project (e-POP), co-organized with RFI Planète Radio / France Media Monde, on Climate and Environment Young Observers, a citizen information network for understanding climate and environmental changes in island countries by documenting interactive videos using smart mobile phones.

This event aims to give new perspectives on issues relating to the Forum theme and help them connect with like-minded organisations, companies and youth delegates in the Pacific. Partners will also have a clearer idea on how to be more socially responsible and how to actively support the creation and implementation of community projects or youth initiatives.

AIESEC is an international non-governmental, not-for-profit organization that provides young people with leadership development in cross-cultural global internship and volunteer exchange experiences. Founded in 1948, AIESEC is the world’s largest youth-run organisation, with over 70,000 members in more than 120 countries and territories. In Asia and the Pacific, AIESEC has more than 30,000 members in 550 university local chapter.

AIESEC in Fiji, founded in 2017 based in Suva, is currently the official national branch in Fiji. The YouthSpeak Forum consultations in Fiji are supported and sponsored by Vodafone Fiji, Bank of South Pacific (BSP), the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the University of Fiji (UniFiji), the Fiji National University (FNU), the University of the South Pacific (USP), and South Pacific Waste Recyclers.