World Youth Ministers’ Forum and Joint Declaration at Nurimaru APEC Center.

On July 5th, 2012, the World Youth Ministers’ Forum took place at Nurimaru APEC Centre, where the APEC Summit was previously held. Eighteen countries from Africa, South East Asia and Central America were represented, while 30 Youth Ministers, Deputy Ministers and government officials from 20 countries along with 200 domestic and international students from America, Russia, India, Japan, Philippines, Cambodia and Peru were in attendance and listened attentively. “Fading Youth, the mentality and actions of the Youth” being the topic, youth problems were discussed, were made aware of, and were addressed thoroughly and after cooperative measures to solve youth problems were discussed, a joint declaration was announced.

Hon. Dr. Otuoma Pnyongesa, the Minister of Youth and Sport from East Kenya, expressed his views stating, “Due to the global economic recession jobs are not being created sufficiently, and so the youth are unable to play their parts socially, culturally and financially and thus are wandering.” This has caused “crime, violence and drug addiction to increase, AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases to be spread and through unwanted early pregnancy; the vicious cycle is being repeated,” he said. He declared that if we are ignorant towards the world of the heart of the youth, then our diligent efforts are meaningless towards our nation’s economic development, and stated that if the youth were to acquire great mindsets, then Kenya too would experience an economic development like South Korea while also saying that many opportunities would be provide to youths who possessed great mindsets.

Hon. Clement Kofi Humado, the Minister of Youth and Sport from West Ghana, said, “Before 2010, we had no particular policies for the youth of Ghana however after 2010, we formed groups and policies for the youth. We are even hosting volunteer camps to observe how volunteering by the youth can influence society and other youths. We invited mayors and politicians from major cities and countries and held a meeting, and are now currently working diligently to solve youth employment problems. I am saddened by my country’s limited budget. However, I will continue to strive to fix our education problems, and in order to control and plant value into the youth I hope that the IYF and Ghana will work together.”

Hon. Djibrine Sall, the Minister of Technology Education and Training from Central African Rep., stated, “Our government’s major interest is in training our local economists and technicians, however as our youth are beginning to lose morals we are now starting youth policies that are focusing on the hearts of the youth. Through international cooperation we have built four technical high schools in a rural city and in our capital Banguz we have reorganized and refurbished a technical high school for girls. Although there are many students who are unable to obtain jobs after graduating from a technical high school, I hope the miracles which occurred in Samsung and Hyundai will occur in my country as well. I wish to work with the IYF for a long time and want to give smiles to the faces of the youth. I would like to also give my gratitude to Pastor Ock Soo Park for hosting this forum.”

Hon. S. Tornorlah Varpilah, Minister of Youth and Sport from Liberia, moved the hearts of the students after telling a story of a student who stole food everyday during his poor and starving school years, and how his life changed after meeting a certain black teacher. The black teacher made him to play sports and read biographies of Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. He revealed that the student was himself and spoke about the importance of being a leader. The Minister said that if one possesses a positive mind, then the world will change positively. He declared that we needed to possess a positive mentality, a clear goal, dream about the future, and be educated and that if we do not change our mind then we cannot change the world.

In addition, a joint declaration was signed to promote the healthy minds and futures of the youth. Representatives from each country promised to take responsibility for their youth and to create and encourage new programs for youths. On the joint declaration document, they promised that through their cooperation they would bring social welfare and economic development as well.

The Ministers who attended agreed that the IYF Mind Lectures would positively change the youth and create bright futures for them. Ministers from each country were appointed as IYF advisors and decided to share their opinions in order to improve youth problems. The World Youth Minister’s Forum was sponsored by Korea Tourist Service, Pusan metropolitan city and MBN.

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