Youth of Nepal: "We want to be heard"

Activists collected over 500 signatures in favor of decreasing the voting age limit to 16.

Feb. 11, 2013, 5:45 p.m.

The first Nepal Youth Forum “Youth Contributing for Sustainable Peace” held from 6th to 8th February in Kathmandu, organized by National Youth Federation Nepal (NYFN) in partnership with Youth Time International Movement, Ministry of Youth and Sports of Nepal and Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction of Nepal has drawn the outcomes.

During three days 200 participants from 70 out of 74 Nepal districts elaborated an action plan to enforce Nepalese youth, to make their voices heard and to approach ideals of democracy. The forum is considered to be one of the biggest civil initiatives, in a country which has suffered for decades under series of revolutions and continuous civil war. Partly it’s because of the historical turbulences and unstable situation in the country that the Nepal Youth Forum has provoked such a huge interest, as it put J.Kinash, President of Youth Time International Movement. “We see the participants. They are passionate, they are enthusiastic. They are the change-makers.”

Their enthusiasm revealed during the Peace Rally on the first day of the Forum. Participants went through the streets of Nepal advocating their rights. Previously, activists collected over 500 signatures in favor of decreasing the voting age limit to 16.

The issues considered at workshops comprised sustainable peace, climate change, economy, role of mass media and others. Going into detail, participants proposed solutions to counteract kidnapping of people for the army, women disrespect, acts of abuse, low awareness of social problems and limited access to information. The result will be the action plan to be presented to political parties, government and stakeholders. “We want to be heard. In a country with 38.8% of people classified as youth we have to be more influential”, as to Nikunja Bhandari, Secretary of NYFN.

The Minister of Reconciliation and Peace of Nepal and Robert Piper, United Nations Resident Coordinator attended the closing ceremony and expressed belief that the discussion process will go on globally.

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