World Bank Vice President of External and Corporate Relations Sheila Redzepi welcomed them and highlighted their crucial role in relating to and therefore advocating for youth development issues, as well as invigorating policymaking, and democracy, “Young parliamentarians bring innovation and energy into policy debates. Your presence in parliaments can shift social norms about the legitimacy of young people as elected officials.”
One of the original Steering Committee members of the Global Young MP Initiative, Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu MP and Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Kosovo presented the objectives of the young MP program and shared some inspiring strategies for youth policies and programs in Kosovo. During a panel conversation, MPs from Egypt, Kenya and Norway gave their countries’ perspectives, leading the way for all participants to embark on a discussion of concerns and best practices from their respective nations.
The biggest worry on the minds of nearly all young parliamentarians was youth unemployment and how to prepare for the jobs of the future through investments in health, education, and the leveraging of technology. A presentation by Ceyla Pazarbaşioğlu, Vice President, Equitable Growth on opportunities for harnessing technology for jobs and inclusion resonated well with the group. As digital natives, young MPs are better positioned to understand technology and use it to create opportunities and change.
The MPs who participated in the meeting strongly supported the new program, a sentiment that could be summed up in the comment by Ricardo Leite MP and Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Portuguese Communities; and the Health Committee, Portugal, “I think that this particular initiative has a tremendous capacity to advise on what direction to take and keep up with trends that young MPs tend to be closer to. Good politicians sometimes need support beyond borders to lead within borders.”