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* Youth called upon to take action to achieve their needs at World Youth conference in Sri Lanka
Sat, May 10, 2014, 09:52 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

May 10, Colombo: The world's youth were called upon to take action to achieve their needs when the Round Table on Youth Rights met on Day 3 of the World Youth Conference 2014 at the BMICH in Sri Lanka.

The discussion was a continuation of the discussions from the last two days, which focused on topics such as implementation of youth rights and different definitions found in different countries on youth rights, among others.

The moderator commenced the session by talking about the importance of the three factors discussed at earlier sessions: Recognizing youth rights, access to youth rights and cultural differences among youth in the world, which set background for the continuation of the discussion.

Speaking at the continuation of the roundtable discussion on Youth Rights, Assistant Representative for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for Sri Lanka Mr. Gamini Wanasekara said he believes in fighting for youth rights.

"Dignity will not come to you in a platter" he told the youth speaking on how to achieve what they needs to achieve and called upon the young generation to take action to achieve their needs.

Further explaining his ideas by referring to the relationship between the "right holders" and "duty bearers," Wanasekara said the right holders should claim rights from the duty bearers and in return the duty bearers should fulfill their responsibility towards right holders.

Although the youth rights are in existence at present, there should be a mechanism to reach them, he noted.

Concluding his speech, he showed the two choices the youth have: To fulfill their needs and live a "comfortable" life or to claim your rights and lead a "dignified" life.

President of EIJ Mr. Alejandro Blancas Alvarado in his speech referred to collective efforts from the past to ensure better living conditions in the world at large, paying special attention to the contribution of the United Nations.

He believes that the three factors of the role of the youth, achieving the set goals for the youth and the role of youth in realizing their goals are of importance.

Also emphasizing the significance of a framework, Alvarado said that there should be a common understanding as well as a common framework for youth rights that are being discussed and absence of a framework can lead to pressure.

He also added information on the steps taken globally in ensuring youth rights by referring to the special commission appointed by United Nations on ensuring youth rights.

Talking about the plight of young women in the world, he said that half of sexual harassments incidents happen to young women under 16 years old.

Alvarado underscored that goal setting for 2015 should be ambitious and concrete and emphasized on strengthening the mechanism process related to goal setting and implementation.

Commenting on building new models on youth rights, he said the youth should be given the opportunity for direct involvement.

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