Speaker of the National Assembly Right Honourable Henry Chimunthu Banda has disclosed that Malawi is expected to host Commonwealth Youth Parliament in 2013. He said this during the launch of Youth Parliament in in the capital Lilongwe.
According to the Speaker, the hosting of the youth parliament was announced at the 43rd conference of Commonwealth Africa region that took place in South Africa. The conference will draw youth delegates from each of Commonwealth parliaments on the African continent. Chimunthu Banda said the purpose of Commonwealth Youth Parliament is to provide a platform to the young people to be heard on issues affecting their lives.
Speaking at the function Elijah Ouopa, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Africa regional representative said the launch of youth parliament in Malawi is a positive move and has demonstrated that the nation is doing everything possible in the enhancement of the democracy. He said giving the youth such a platform will help the youth not only to be heard but to be taken seriously by all stakeholders.
Speaker of the Youth Parliament Dyson Maliro, who is also Member for Blantyre Bangwe constituency, said the launch of youth parliament should be viewed as a testimony of the success for young people’s long-standing quest to participate in decision making process in a democracy.
The introduction of youth parliament in Malawi has underscored the international recognition on promoting child rights through article 12 of the United Nations (UN) Convection on the Rights of the Child and Article 11 of the Youth Charter of the African UNION (AU).
It is the initiative of Malawi National Assembly with support from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Save the Children, Plan International and Timveni Child and Youth Organization