'We think investing in young people is the best contribution we can make to develop this remarkable country'
British High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Robert Chatterton Dickson, has emphasized ensuring a strong partnership with youth to attain Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The British High Commissioner said this at the opening ceremony of the three-day 6th Youth Leadership Summit hosted by the Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC)at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre on Thursday, reports BSS.
"We have got a 2030 agenda for sustainable development. To achieve those goals [SDGs], a strong partnership is required between young people and all stakeholders," he said.
The summit, ‘Strength in Unity: Shaping the Future,’ brought together around 370 university students and young professionals, competitively selected from over 1,800 applications.
The High Commissioner also said: " Young people have the potential to bring positive changes. Therefore, we think investing in young people is the best contribution we can make to develop this remarkable country."
The British envoy said the summit focuses on building youth skills and instilling the values of tolerance and inclusiveness in them, both of which are critical for the practice of leadership.
"Strength in Unity as a theme is especially relevant in the current context when the world is fractured along ideological, religious, and cultural lines," Dickson added.
Founder and President of BYLC, Ejaj Ahmad,said that in a world where more than 42% of its population is below the age of 25, BYLC believes it is critical to engage our youth in conversations about collaborative leadership and taking ownership of societal problems.
Ejaj said: "Leadership is a learned skill. It can be exercised by anyone, regardless of age, position, gender, or socio-economic status. The only thing young people need is the heart and ability to exercise leadership."
Executive Director of Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF), Shaheen Anam, said a society based on justice and acceptance is one that will thrive and not just survive.
She said: "We should empower youth and instil in them, the values of inclusiveness and the ability to accept different opinions. We also should encourage them to promote tolerance and non-violence."
Parsed in several breakout sessions and workshops, the summit is set to offer the opportunity to network and share ideas on how youths can shape their future.