Background

Sustainable development is the overarching paradigm of the United Nations. The concept of sustainable development has many meanings and has voiced differently. The sustainable development framework rests on four pillars i.e, society, environment, culture and economy. Thus, it envisages a future in which there is a balance between social, economic, cultural and environmental objectives.

Many conferences organized by the United Nations, civil society, media, researcher etc. have agreed on a range of measures to establish Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Through a widely inclusive consultative process that included governments, civil society, industry, research bodies and others across the globe, 17 SDGs have been decided upon. The first seven correspond roughly to the Millennium Development Goals in the social sphere, such as gender equality, education and health; the next five deal with economic issues like inclusive growth, resilient infrastructure, sustainable consumption etc.; the next three address the environment, through climate change, oceans, and land degradation; and finally, the last two deal with promoting peaceful societies and partnerships for sustainable development. However, it is going to be a day-dream, if analyses its outcomes in many lens.

On the other hand, due to its unique geopolitical and historical circumstances, the millions of youth in the SAARC countries are not able to come together to a common platform for a common goal for their participation, cooperation and improvement of living conditions. Similarly, countries have not recognized the potential and capabilities of the youth to accelerate the development and in nation building. Youth are not considered as a catalyst of change agent; not provided opportunities to participate in the decision making process, not creating sustainable engagement or model to prevent the development challenges.

The SOUTH ASIAN YOUTH SUMMIT 2018 will take place in prestigious The Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH), Colombo City, Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka from 28th November – 1st December, 2018. The cross cutting theme of SOUTH ASIAN YOUTH SUMMIT 2018 is “Creating a Sustainable Future in a Fractured South Asia”. IYC realizes that the development of the SAARC nations depend largely on the opportunities provided for the youth and in the building of their skills, in order for them to use them in a timely, appropriate fashion. The South Asian Youth Summit 2018 will act as a platform to increase the areas of cooperation in the field of youths for better ties and economic prosperity amongst the SAARC nations. We believe that with the involvement of youth in every movement of decision making processes will enhance the region both economically and in bringing of peace and ending terrorism. We need a common youth voice by creating a common platform to begin the campaign.

The summit will seeks to assess conditions affecting the development of the information society in the region, establish information networks and partnerships among youth movements for the sharing of experiences as well as facilitate the incorporating and updating of national policies on youth issues. Other expected outcomes include the identification of ICT training needs, the establishment of required training structures and the dissemination of HIV/AIDS preventive information fro peace and development in the region by empowering young people with more emphasization.

Today’s generations of young people are the most numerous in history. They are both the most educated and those that enjoy the best levels of health. They are also generations which, once they reach adulthood will have fewer children under their care than their predecessors which, with the right policies, could boost economic growth, by increasing the proportion of economic growth and of the working population, reducing the rate of demographic dependence and increasing household savings. All nations, regardless of their level of wealth, should take advantage of this opportunity before it is lost by the ageing of society .Otherwise, the goals of development and poverty reduction could be seriously hampered.

Thirteen years before the deadline set by the international community to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs), IYC is organizing the South Asian Youth Summit 2018 as a forum for discussion and reflection on the role of youth in achieving the SDGs and also to facilitate a process that strengthens effective youth participation in the planning, implementation and evaluation of various global issues, referring to the process of defining the future global development framework that will succeed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.

The summit will also create an inclusive platform for youth that enables them to review the progress of the SDGs, share ideas, experiences and innovative approaches for effectively contributing to the SDG framework and its implementation. It brings together young delegates from every nook and corner of the country to exchange views, share experiences on different issues, and detect common preoccupations and to develop realistic action plans to rebuild communities that meet the needs and aspirations of young people. The South Asian Youth Summit 2018 allows young people to voice their ideas and concerns and make suggestions directly.

Today’s youth are arising to shape the present and future of their countries. They want to be heard, to be included in decision making debates and to make change. Students’ engagement, social innovation, fostering democracy, youth employment, conflict and sustainable development are amongst the issues that will be discussed on the floor of the “SOUTH ASIAN YOUTH SUMMIT 2018” but also for ensuring that efforts are long lasting and progressive in the long term.