Youth Forum: First Inter-Party Youth Political dialogue

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

National Youth Council (NYC) two-day maiden edition of Inter-party Youth Political Dialogue was held on Friday and Saturday at Kairaba Beach Hotel in Senegambia.

The dialogue brought together over 100 representatives of political parties and youth groups in a close session where they were engaged to promote multi-party system, peace building, conflict prevention, and strengthen of rule of law based on the values of tolerance, dialogue and unity.

The dialogue is aimed to contribute immensely in mitigating the current political resentment and inter-party conflict which is changing the country’s political shape.

The dialogue was organised on the theme; Sustaining Democracy: Preserving Peace for National Development. It is expected to include with the setting up of an Inter – Party Youth Platform and a communiqué agreed to by all parties.

Henry Gomez, minister of Youth and Sports said the country’s democratic evolution and development in a climate free of conflict will not be attainable if young people and the entire community are not familiar with multi-party system and democracy as it relates to peaceful coexistence; code of conduct of conducting peaceful campaigns and the role of youth in party politics and conflict prevention.

“Most of the time, young people are not only victims of political disagreements but also incite conflicts. I hope this will change after this dialogue among yourselves,” he said.

Chairperson of NYC Dembo Kambi said young people are recommitted to shaping the socio-economic and political destiny of the country irrespective of their political inclinations. “This is just the commencement of the numerous mechanisms National Youth Council, National Youth Organizations and other partners whose aim is to advance the ideals of democracy and governance, wish to initiate to ensure peaceful co-existence, tolerance and respect for diversity especially among youth,” he said.

Alieu Momarr Njai, chairman of Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said IEC is resolved to conduct free, fair, transparent and credible election. “I wish to call on all youth to exercise restraint during this local government elections. Statistics show that youth constitute more than half of the voting population. So they can vie for the positions and use their numerical advantage in party politics instead of violence,” he said.

Yuspha Bojang, representative of National Council for Civic Education (NCCE) said young people should understand that the country belong to all, irrespective of their partisan affiliation.

“As such, we should learn to respect one another and accept that this country comprises of different ethnic groups, religions and political parties and even regions and no one section is better than the other,” he stressed.

Author: Lamin Darboe