Nuku‘alofa, Tonga – 28 September 2018 The Legislative Assembly of Tonga is to officially launch its Tonga Youth Parliament 2018 public awareness at the Tonga National Centre in Nuku’alofa, next Monday, October 1st 2018.
The Youth Parliament will be held from 12-14 November, 2018.
More than 100 youth from around Tongatapu are expecting to participate during the Monday program.
The objective of this year’s Youth Parliament is:
• To encourage and support youth participation in the political process.
• To participate help youth better understand the parliament’s roles, functions, rules and procedures.
• To encourage young people to take an interest in citizenship activities, in particular, parliament.
• To bring awareness to the public on youth perspectives on matters of national interest and the problems they face.
• To inspire and empower youth in leadership and decision making.
This year’s theme is “Our Parliament, Bringing Parliament To You.”
The Speaker of Parliament Lord Fakafanua says the theme encompasses our vision of an inclusive, vibrant and participatory society that leaves no one behind.
“This year, our parliament’s focus is on our young people and our youth. It is a testament to the Legislative Assembly’s commitment to youth empowerment, leadership, education and providing unique platform where the voice of the marginalised, our young people and our youth can be heard,” the Lord Speaker said.
A vibrant democracy thrives on active citizenship and engagement of its citizens, including its youth. However, universal trends have shown that there is a lack of youth participation in politics including voter participation and low interest in political processes.
To participate in the upcoming event 26 successful applicants will be selected as members of the Tonga Youth Parliament.
All applicants must be a Tongan citizen aged 14-34. Successful candidates must speak fluently in Tongan and has no criminal record.
Eligible applicants must reside in their constituency for up to three months prior to the submission of their application.
Deadline for the application closes on Friday, October 12.
Males and females have equal opportunities.
Monday’s launching program will feature information booths on Parliament and other activities including dramas, singing, hip hop dance, fun games and other competition. Prizes will also be awarded.
Parliament has supported initiatives to encourage youth participation and to increase awareness of its roles in society. The Legislative Assembly had also hosted two youth parliaments in 2002 and 2010.