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One Asian Youth Leadership Forum: A union of continents

More than three hundred representatives from fifty-four countries gathered in Beijing to attend the 3rd Asian-African Youth Festival 2018 held in Beijing, China from 12 to 16 September, 2018. 

This year the host of this event were Central Committee of the Communist Youth League of China (CCYLC), All-China Youth Federation (ACYF), Asian Youth Council and the organizer was China Youth Center for International Exchange.  

The program was aimed to promote the Bandung spirit of solidarity, friendship, cooperation, enhance comprehension and collaboration between Asian and African Youth. 

To consolidate the social basis of win-win cooperation between Asia and Africa and develop the community of shared destiny. 

The focus of this program is to bring the discerning, ideas, discussions, culture, creativity, the teamwork of youth. With the opening ceremony on the very first day, there was a panel discussion and meeting for One Asia Leadership Forum, where the youth from Bangladesh, Nepal, China, Malaysia and other countries participate. They had presentations and speeches about their ideas, future thinking and innovation to make the better world. 

The President of Asian Youth Council H.E Hun Many and Ms. Dong Xia from AII-China Youth Federation had jointly given the Beijing Declaration from this forum. The summary of this declaration was: 

  • The commitment of this Asian-African festival is to intend and promote “ONE ASIA” for raising the awareness and prosperity of the globalizing the new trends. The diversity of Asia and Africa will also uphold cultural peace, mutual understanding among people and put the end of cultural violence as well. 
  • They also share the vow towards the regional peace security, non-violent resolution of difference, legal diplomatic process, and self-restraint on regional and international order where they can make effort together for peace and stability to encourage the role of regional and multilateral commitment and cooperation.  
  • In addition to One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative, the forum will also enhance the economic capacity along with the employment facilities to transfer knowledge and technology in the Asian region. For the development of mankind, youth involvements will also enrich the pathway in bilateral ties with the aim to attain the ONE Asian ambition. 

As a panel member, YPARD Bangladesh representative presented a talk about the importance of agriculture in the recent world, how youth are giving new dimensions in modern agriculture, what do they need to perform better and what strategies could lead youth development for sustainable future agriculture in the greater Asian region? The other speakers also mentioned what roles youth should play and why youth voice is potential in Asian development. In a sense, youth could assist in the regional development, continental relationship and cooperation which would be more fashionable and allusive. 

Furthermore, participants had tours to know more about China’s culture and history along with some fun activities. From these activities, youths experienced learning and sharing to be modernized, team building and cooperation, know each other and play among themselves along with funs. The participants have visited China Railway Construction Corporation Limited, The Road of Rejuvenation Exhibition in National Museum of China, Community of Shijia Hutong, and The China Soong Ching Ling Science & Culture Center for Young People, Beijing Sports University, and Grand Epoch City etc. During this festival, we enjoyed a lot, met with new friends, know about the culture and traditions of different countries, also came to know and learn about China’s technology, education, history and etc. 

We did appreciate the Chinese foods and cuisine which are healthy and balanced. Throughout the visiting time, we did some of the creative activities, such as – Chinese Kung Fu strategy, made around with paper and walk within it being a group, some brainstorming games and so on which developed cooperation and improve task accomplishment capacity within us. Moreover, we also learned how to prepare paper-crafts, through specific words to know each other, quiz for general knowledge, group work for team building and etc. 

On the last day of the festival, a closing ceremony and gala night were organized where participants from different countries performed in solo and group to show their own culture in front of us. Delegates from Morocco, Egypt, Tanzania and Nepal performed their traditional dance whereas, a guest from Indonesia sang a Chinese song to show his cultural value and love for China which was also a meaning of respect for friendship and harmony. In addition, youths from other countries - Vietnam, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India, Sudan, Nigeria, South Africa, Malaysia, Philippine, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Korea, Singapore, Thailand, and last but not the list China had also performed their traditional dance, song, acrobats and other activities to represent in this cultural evening..  

Asia and Africa are both important cradles of human civilization and a huge population is living in these two continents that play major contributions is the world`s economic development. Once, Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach said, “In the youth, we learn; in age we understand”. As the same harmony, it’s the time for youth to take up the responsibility to continue this cooperation and strengthen friendship for better bonding by building the new pattern of multi-level partnerships in a broader range.