Commonwealth Youth Forum 2018 - Reflections by Solomon Rose

The Commonwealth Youth Forum presented a tangible alternative future to the doom and gloom that is continually propagated. It exposed me to a generation of young people across the globe that are already doing incredible things. This generation will be more interconnected and interwoven than previous generations.

I do not think that the Commonwealth as it currently exists is broadly understood and recognised by the British people. I believe that there is significant scope for it to be a powerful vessel for change especially in midst of Brexit. Furthermore, I feel that there should be greater publicity of the roles that the various organisations of the Commonwealth have and the specific involvement that citizens of the Commonwealth can have.

I had hoped to discuss Sustainability and the increasing threat Climate Change poses to countries with smaller populations. I also hoped to have discussions on Inclusion and equality. However, I think that generally young people attending the youth forum were not sufficiently involved in these issues. I think that the forum offered a brilliant opportunity and fantastic structure but unfortunately, the fullness of our views was not condensed into a specific output.

Moreover, I personally think that there should be greater open communication between members of certain countries and that there should be greater room for cross-cultural interactions in public forum. I also think that there should be greater scope for larger and wealthier members contributing more economically to smaller nations who are less wealthy  

The highlights from the forum were;

  • Keynote speeches from PM Andrew Holness, Baroness Scotland, Bill Gates and Theresa May
  • Introductions from Royal Family 
  • Opportunity to make connections with like-minded people from your country and across the Commonwealth - really refreshing and inspiring to have been in that room of young people
  • Sessions which gave us a format for how to implement change and approach change   

As a young person of Caribbean heritage, it was remarkable to see how significant an institution the Commonwealth is for Caribbean people.

Solomon Rose

Yvonne Field