The Liberal Youth South Asia publication for the year 2008 was released by Mr. Naveen Jindal, Member of Parliament on the same occasion.
CPPR in association with Liberal Youth South Asia (LYSA) organized the first South Asia Youth Summit in New Delhi on 24th and 25th November, 2008 providing a platform for 100 youth representatives across South Asia to discuss and debate various issues confronting the region from a liberal perspective. “We believe that we can set an example for our political leaders about cooperation and the benefits of joining hands in overcoming barriers…. we envision a peaceful, democratic and open region…” reads the declaration at the end of the youth summit, which was supported by the Friedrich Naumann Siftung für die Freiheit. The delegates identified lack of appropriate governance as the central issue behind all the problems facing the region.
Summit was inaugurated by Dr. M.S.Gill, Hon’ble Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Govt of India. Dr.Gill emphasized the need to setup democratic institutions in the South Asian countries to ensure the accommodation of diverse opinions in the decision making process. By citing the Indian example he highlighted the advantages of democracy and stressed the need to establish democratic institutions in South Asia for a peaceful and prosperous region. Speaking at the occasion, Mr.Naveen Jindal M.P urged the youth to actively involve in politics to bring about positive changes in the society. Mr.Jindal also released the annual LYSA publication, “Our Common Future: South Asia”
Over the two day schedule participants got to interact with eminent speakers from various countries of South Asia who presented their views on a range of subjects related to the broad theme: Democracy, Peace and Open Borders. Some of these speakers included, Dr. Donya Aziz, Member, National Assembly, Pakistan; Mr. Manish Tiwari, Secretary and Spokesperson, All India Congress Committee, India; Mr. Pradeep Peiris, Centre for Policy Alternatives, Sri Lanka; Dr. Zafarullah Khan, Executive Director, Centre for Civic Education, Pakistan; Prof. N.R.Madhava Menon, Founding Director, National Law School, India; Dr.Najmul Hossain, Economist, Bangladesh; Dr.P.V.Indiresan, Former Director, IIT Madras; Dr.Parth J. Shah, President, Centre for Civil Society, India; Ms. Arpita Nepal, Samruddhi Foundation, Nepal; Mr.Bart Woord, Secretary General, IFLRY; Mr.Jan Argy Tolentino, President, YLDA and may others from all across South Asia.
The participants discussed upon issues like Youth and Politics, Youth Participation in Development, Market Economy and South Asian Free Trade Zone, Quality Education for All: Choice & Competition, State and Democracy and Human Rights in South Asia. The discussions carried out by the youth across the sessions mainly focused upon the major global and local developments which compel the youth to take a particular note of the policies that need to be changed and what implications these changes have for the future of youth. Separate sessions were conducted with the working groups formed from among the participants to discuss how they could take this dialogue forward.
The culmination of the two day summit took place at India Gate where participants formed a youth chain and lit candles in solidarity with each other to fight against terrorism and spread the message of peace. And there began the “drafting of a new South Asia”.
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