In a good example of parliamentary outreach to young people, the second edition of the Guyana National Youth Debating Competition takes place on Friday, 8 April. Some 16 youth groups will participate in the event with the objective of connecting young people to parliament.
The competition was started in 2021 by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Manzoor Nadir. It follows the Speaker’s endorsement of the IPU’s campaign called I Say Yes to Youth in Parliament! which was launched last year.
The IPU has regularly highlighted the shortfall in young people’s political representation, with only 2.6 per cent of MPs in the world under the age of 30 according to the latest IPU data. More than half the world’s population is estimated to be under the age of 30. The IPU campaign is designed to help address this gap by mobilizing parliamentarians and leaders of all ages to take action to rejuvenate their parliaments.
Speaker Manzoor Nadir said, “The groups will be debating while at the same time exposing themselves to parliamentary procedures and promoting awareness of the National Assembly and the work of parliament among people.”
The National Assembly also organized a session of the Youth Parliament on 12 August, International Youth Day.