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Ingill Ra's Opening Address at South Asia Subregional Consultation on Youth Volunteerism

South Asia Subregional Consultation on Youth Volunteerism to Promote Participation, Development and Peace
March 25, 2015
Kathmandu, Nepal


Excellencies, Distinguished participants from various countries of Asia and the Pacific, Ladies and gentlemen, Good morning, everyone. Namaste. 

I would like to begin by asking all of us to give warmest thanks to 

  • H.E.  Arjun Bahadur Thapa, Secretary General of SAARC
  • Honorable Purushottam Paudel, Minister of Youth and Sports
  • Dr. Yagya Bahadur Karki, Honorable Member of National Planning Commission, and 
  • Dr Marco Roncarati, Co-chair of the Asia-Pacific Peace and Development Service Alliance and Head of Youth initiatives in UN ESCAP as our great hosts.    

We truly commend our co-conveners for aptly empowering the role of youth who will pave the way forward on Sustainable Development Goals and peace.

What a delight it is to see so many young people gathered here today in conjunction with South Asia Subregional Consultation on Youth Volunteerism to Promote Participation, Development and Peace. 

I would also express my appreciation for the surge of support signified by the broad range of delegations present here today. In particular, I welcome the strong presence of many youth participants from XX countries and many partner organizations of the region, and literally millions of South Asia youth who can be reached by social media.

I would like to recognize just of few of the other partners here to empower youth, if you could raise and stay standing.

We give thanks to contribution of US Peace Corps Nepal – Welcome

  • Mr. Nelson Chase, country director and his many Peace Corps volunteers joining together with Asia volunteers, 
  • KOICA World Friends Korea, Ms Jo and HQ’s great support in Seoul, 
  • Ms. Emma Hess, on behalf of the Australia Volunteer International and other many partners to show your multilateral vision.

And for the best part joining you, could all the young leaders and delegates you all stand!

It is pretty clear that if you want to solve the world’s problems, you need to empower young people. After all, there are a lot of you - so it is definitely a force for positive change that we have to tap into.

Young people have always created world history: Among many others, we have Malala Yousafzai in this South Asia region. She won the Nobel Peace Prize at 17 - the youngest Peace Prize Laureate ever. 

One of the advantages of young people is that they don’t necessarily accept the boundaries and limits that the world has put up. So a lot of new ideas, a lot of new ways of looking at the world emerged by dreaming big.

The young leaders have joined today here mainly from Nepal and India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan,  Maldives, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka from South Asia nations; Moreover, we also have the leaders from many other Asia-Pacific Countries such as Australia, Korea, Mongolia, Thailand, Malaysia, United States and others . 

So regardless of your ethnic groups, your countries, or beliefs – we all share the essence of a common humanity rooted in timeless principles and shared values – as stated by GPF Chair Dr. Hyun Jin Preston Moon, we are truly “One Family under God.”

When young leaders come together, you can bring out the best in each other. The world is dependent on the energy, creativity and stamina of young people to create the future that we are all hoping for. Young people’s participation in, and access to, decision-making is important to chart the future of thee post-2015 agenda for peace and development. 

Thank you for your attention, and I wish you all the best and good luck with your conference.