The Regional Meeting of Young Parliamentarians of the Asia-Pacific will take place from 25th to 26th April 2017 at the Hilton Hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Jointly organized by the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Parliament of Sri Lanka, the Meeting will be on “the role of young parliamentarians in advancing inclusive and peaceful societies and preventing violent extremism.”
The Meeting will bring together young members of national parliaments from thirty-nine (39) countries in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as observers from selected youth organizations, networks and associations. Delegation of Sri Lanka will comprise of 20 young parliamentarians from United National Party (UNP), United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA), Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and Illankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK).
Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister and Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs will deliver a key note address as the Chief Guest at the Opening Ceremony to be held on 25th April 2017. Hon. Karu Jayasuriya, MP, Speaker of Parliament will grace the occasion delivering the welcome speech at the inauguration.
The Conference is expected to place particular emphasis on preventing violent extremism (PVE), since the world has witnessed new waves of violent extremism in the recent years that have taken the lives of many innocent people. Actively engaging young people is imperative to prevent violent extremism and successfully implement the Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goal 16 – “promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, the provision of access to justice for all, and building effective, accountable institutions at all levels.”
In light of this, the Regional Meeting of Young Parliamentarians will build awareness of PVE issues among policymakers, identify what young parliamentarians should do to tackle PVE, and propose how to increase communication and coordination between Parliaments and young people to prevent violent extremism.
The Meeting will be followed by an excursion to Kandy (Dalada Maligawa and Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage) arranged for the participants by the Parliament of Sri Lanka.