Youth leaders convene in Manila for Global Youth Summit 2016

Ten thousand youth leaders, students, and young professionals from various countries and regions in the Philippines gather at SM Mall of Asia Arena in Manila for a one day celebration of youth leadership that aims to challenge, foster inspiration, and ignite the leadership skills of the world’s future shapers and nation builders.

Global Youth Summit 2016, which was held last February 6, brought together young people from countries as far as Botswana, Russia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Vietnam, and Thailand, as well as local youth leaders from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao in the Philippines who are eager to make positive impact in their own communities.

This year’s theme is “one world”, which focuses on becoming ‘one youth’ in creating a better world while ‘appreciating the differences that exist in humanity.’ Delegates were engaged in in-depth talks such as youth’s role in the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals and peacebuilding, and opportunities for youth-to-youth learning and story-sharing.

“Inspire, Engage, Activate”

The summit was divided into three blocks, “Inspire, Engage, and Activate,” that features speakers and practitioners from different backgrounds and sectors of the society who discussed on topics of today’s various matters of concern.

First to speak was Mr. Jinsoo Kim, regional president of Global Peace Foundation Asia Pacific, whose message focused on the role of youth in peacebuilding. He provided examples on how young people in different countries are able to contribute in conflict resolution and peacebuilding efforts through volunteerism in different programs and initiatives of Global Peace Foundation.

He also imparted how values such as living for the greater good, ownership, teamwork and dreaming big are effective in activating youth leadership and potentials to achieve a common goal. He also announced the upcoming Global Peace Convention and One Dream One Asia Concert in Manila on November 2016 which is well received by the audience and participants in social media sites.

Other notable speakers include Bai Rohaniza Sumndad-Usman, founder of Teach Peace Build Peace Philippines; Rena Dona, assistant country representative of United Nation Development Programme Philippines; Joyce Pring, radio jock and youth influencer; Francis Kong, award-winning motivational speaker and business consultant; Stella Sy, owner of top fashion brand Mint; Mica Tan, president and CFO of MFT Group of Companies; Mike Miatari, representative from Department of Education; and, His Excellency Roberto Mayorga, former Chilean Ambassador to the Philippines.

Former Ambassador Mayorga, who is also the founder of Calidad Humana Project, started his message by praising the Filipinos on their famous positive attitudes such as hospitality and resilience which he believed must be treasured, maintained, and promoted to the world especially by young people.

“Without these humanistic qualities, there can be no peace in the world,” he emphasized. “Work hard and overcome poverty, but put your money in your pocket and not in your hearts.”

Representatives from the organizing groups are also present to greet and inspire the delegates who represent different countries, religions, and culture: Mr. Royston Cabunag, program director of SM Cares; Leonard Faustino, president of Global Peace Youth Philippines; Ton Sewell, president of AIESEC in the Philippines; Dr. Florida Labuguen, executive director of PSNEI; and Hon. Dingdong Dantes, commissioner at large of National Youth Commission who shared his message through a video.

Delegates of the summit also participated in the “Donate-a-Pencil” campaign in partnership with the Department of Education. The campaign will benefit students from underprivileged communities in the country.

On its fourth year, Global Youth Summit is co-organized by Global Peace Youth Philippines, SM Cares, AIESEC in the Philippines, and National Youth Commission in partnership with Philippine Society of NSTP Educators and Implementers, Commission on Higher Education, Calidad Humana, Mall of Asia Arena, Inquirer.net, and Rappler.

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