The South Asian Youth Conference, 2011 to be held in Bangalore


The first South Asian Youth Conference organized by the Blue Ribbon Movement, will take place from the 23rd to the 28th of May 2011, at the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore. The Conference will bring together 120 young leaders from across SAARC nations under one roof to debate and engage with ideas and issues that pervade our region.The main aim of the Conference is to gather potential change makers and future leaders so as to build a common foundation as well as an informal network amongst them. This would lead to better internal relations and an understanding of a shared space, history, culture and politics.

Aware of the irony that our biggest problems are within the threshold of our region, the main theme of the Conference is Peace. The concept of Peace - within ourselves, with others and with the environment, will be grappled with so as to understand its full spectrum better, while also promoting a sense of acceptance and mutual understanding amongst the participants as representatives of their nation.

SAARC, as a region, is characterized by unique dynamics: a shared culture at one end and political issues on the other. In order to grapple with this fact, a handful of young people at the 5th World Youth Congress in Turkey (2010) realized that there was a need for a common, non partisan, non political youth platform.

The South Asian Youth Conference (SAYC) is a step in this direction, drawn from the idea of a regional youth summit along the lines of the European Youth Congress. For the first conference this year, delegates from SAARC countries have been invited to India and are being hosted by the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.

One of the primary reasons the Conference is being hosted at IIM-B is the focus on green business. As corporate responsibility in creating the green economy is a major point of discussion and action at the conference, what better place than India’s premier B-School to have this discussion?

With a short term goal of hosting the 2014 World Youth Congress in the SAARC region, the SAYC endeavours to become an annual event with the creation of a region of greater cooperation, acceptance and friendship at the heart of its agenda.

Being the first in this series of conferences, SAYC 2011 has a handful of important functions.

Apart from being the first big step towards hosting the 2014 World Youth Congress, it will set the direction for all forthcoming conferences and discussions by youth in the region. This conference is a step forward in the government’s initiative to fostering better relations within SAARC.

The conference will also feed into the UNESCO Biennial Youth Forum, UN Intl. Year of Youth, Conference on Youth, Rio 20 – UN 20th Anniversary Summit for Sustainable Development and the 6th World Youth Congress on Youth & Sustainable Development (WYC-6).

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