The hugely successful World Urban Youth Forum drew to a close in Nanjing with calls for more inclusion of young people in decision making.
Speaking at the forum's closing ceremony; the Vice chairman of Jiangsu Youth Federation, Mr. Zhang Guoliang emphasized the importance of promoting dissemination of information and communication amongst young people in effective ways. He also welcomed suggestions from the young delegates on how the federation can be more involved in addressing the challenge of urbanization and incorporation of the views of the young people.
The two-day conference, hosted by the Nanjing Municipal Committee of the Chinese Communist Party Youth League, is third biennial session of its kind, and takes place traditionally on the eve of the World Urban Forum. This year, youth delegates discussed theme, "Harmonious Urbanization: The Challenge of Balanced Territorial Development."
The opening ceremony of the forum on Saturday affirmed the commitment of global leaders on urbanization to fostering youth led development. The Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, noted that now is the "dawn of a new urban era," with half of the world's population already living in towns and cities, and a projected increase to two-thirds, by the year 2030. She emphasized that the only way to meet the challenge of urbanization was through genuine "dialogues among young people." She recognized, as is evident in the area of information communications technology, that creativity and innovation are the hallmarks of youth, and that this is key to overcoming the challenges of poverty and urbanization.
Jean-Jacques Nyenimagabo, Minister of Youth, Sports and culture in Burundi acknowledged the setting up of the One Stop models and affirmed his support in ensuring more centre are opened up in other regions for wider inclusion of youth in development initiatives. Prior to the closing ceremony, nominations were made for representations to the youth advisory board to be made at the Youth roundtable during the World Urban Forum on Tuesday 4th November 2008. Previous sessions of the World Urban Youth Forum have been remarkable and this year's session was no exception