Increasing tendency towards a change in motivation of membership in formal youth organizations
Asia’s youth populations are burgeoning, irrespective of whether they are organized through formal youth organizations and those who are not.
In saying this, Say Samal, Cambodia’sdeputy secretary generalof the Royal Government and who is also a member of Youth Association ofCambodia, stressed “some studies indicate that there is an increasing tendency towards a change in motivation of membership in formal youth organizations: many members have a pragmatic rather than an ideological interest in their activities.”
“Explicit efforts must be made to include these young people who face obstacles, such as cultural norms that favor hierarchical relationships between generations, economic circumstances that prevent them from participating in anything other than income generating activity and lack of access to information and necessary skills,” Samal said in his opening remarks at the ICAPP Special Workshop on Young Political Leaders.
Continuing on this, Kim Rithy President of the Youth Association of Cambodia, said that never before has Cambodia seen an implosion of young entrepreneurs and technocrats entering the civil services to build a better tomorrow.
“The youth of today, irrespective of their upbringing in terms of wealth or political bias, have human capital and innovativeness in them and that they were the key to lay the foundation for a brighter future for Cambodia in the years to come.
“Young entrepreneurs are the key to economic growth as they are filled with so much energy and creativity. If we have youth who have the basic fundamentals as the cornerstone of their development, they can easily integrate themselves with the world. Therefore, they must be encouraged to give their share of contributions towards building the nation,” Rithy said.
“In this regard we must help eliminate the difficulties which hamper the youth from development as they are the key for sustained human resources supply,” he added.
He pointed out that the youth of one generation have great divergence from the youth of other generation. However, young generations face greater obstacles in their development into useful human resource and capital.
“The challenge was to carefully balance the economic system, ecology and the environment in which the youth can thrive, said Rithy.
Meanwhile Abdullah Rifau, Youth Wing President from Maldives, said that the most important aspect for youth is for them to earn public respect and support as these elements were the key to win the heart of the public in becoming young leaders in any country.
“The public have become acutely aware of the general tendencies of political leadership to enrich themselves. This has to be avoided like the plague. Leadership is critical but, of equal importance, is the need for young leaders to have a vision – a vision as to where our leaders want our future to be.”
“Leadership must be confident. The more important thing is to support the rule of law. In democracy the leader must make sure the rule of law is maintained,” said Rifau.
He stressed that when the leadership starts to believe that they are above the law, people will no longer respect them. They have to make sure there is no more corruption and that they do not impede the rights to freedom of speech.
“Successful young leaders must have the passion, patience and take practical step to contribute towards society and the country’s political growth,” Rifau concluded.
The speaker from the United States of America, Gary W. Raynolds, Chief of Police, Bedford County Sheriff’s Office, in his comments warned that the emerging problem for youth today is technology in the realms of internet and its abuse in pornography leading to sexual and child exploitation.
“We must do out utmost to ensure that there is no more harm befalling on our children vis-a-vis child labor and our youth in all aspects. To enable this, there should be more education and preventive measures in place to eliminate abuse or exploitation of our children,” said Raynolds.
At the closing remark Deputy Secretary General of the Royal Government of Cambodia, Samal, saidthe general consensus of the participants of the Special Workshop on Young Political Leaders is that ICAPP is an open and unique forum for Asia’s political parties and beyond.
He added that ICAPP has taken another step yesterday afternoon – that is by extending the forum to include the special workshop for young political leaders working to achieve the common goal of sustained peace and shared prosperity in Asia.
“We were exceptionally pleased to note that this first special workshop on young political leaders here in Phnom Penh will help to promote exchanges and cooperation amongst youth who may be subscribing to competing ideologies and also enhance mutual understanding and trust among our peoples and countries; and promote regional cooperation in our home continent,” said Samal.