29.07.2011 - UNESCO Office in Ha Noi

UNESCO sponsors the fourth annual Viet Nam Youth Forum

©UNESCO / Members of the Viet Nam Youth Forum organizing commitee with UNESCO Representative Katherine Muller-Marin and US Embassy Cultural Affairs Officer David Moyer.

Ha Noi, 29 July 2011 – UNESCO sponsored the fourth annual Viet Nam Youth Forum, a six-day event that provided young people between the ages of 16 and 20 with the opportunity to meet and explore priority issues facing local and global communities. Organized under the theme, “Youth discovering their unique values and future path”, and attended by than more than thirty participants, the Forum’s activities included guest speakers, films, discussions and role playing session on the topics of culture, education, the environment and economics.

UNESCO facilitated a climate change workshop during the Forum’s ‘Environment Day’, and in her opening remarks, Representative Katherine Muller-Marin highlighted the role of youth as a “force for progress” and the responsibility young people have to participate “fully in social and political life, which aims at providing the framework to bring youth to the forefront of global debates”. Ms. Muller-Marin stated that the forum provided “an opportunity to take the youth development agenda in Viet Nam a step further and to advocate for increased investments in youth as well as strengthened commitment to youth”.

Started in 2008 by students from the Ha Noi-Amsterdam High School, the forum provides a unique place for Ha Noi’s youth to share knowledge and experiences about current issues in Viet Nam. As an off-campus non-traditional classroom, the forum provides youth an opportunity to discuss, share, learn, connect and generate fresh ideas and solutions to Viet Nam’s challenges, and has generated several community projects.

The event also serves as a networking opportunity for Viet Nam’s future leaders. Participant Nguyen Tram Anh said the Forum gave her the chance to meet “many talented, ambitious young Vietnamese who brought with them ideas to make the country better”. Le Tuyet Lan, one of the organizing staff, described the Forum as a turning point in her life: “It opened the door to new opportunities for me to freely raise my voice and share my opinions more broadly and deeply about Vietnam’s current situation and taught me about my responsibility to giving back to the society that has nurtured me”.

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