H.E. Mahinda Rajapaksa

President of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

Young people are the leaders of our society, the drivers of change. They have the potential to change the world for the better, to fight for what is right, and to drive insecurities away.

It is with great pride that Sri Lanka looks forward to welcoming the participants for the World Conference on Youth 2014. As we expressed at the 68th United Nations General Assembly in the National Statement, Sri Lanka is fully committed in ensuring that the WCY 2014 emerges as a highly successful and a productive amalgamation of ideas for all the young people in the world.

We welcome all of you to Sri Lanka this May, to be part of a process that will ensure young people at the heart of decision making; to be part of a revolution towards making this the Golden Era for Youth Development.

Hon. Dullas Alahapperuma

Minister of Youth Affairs and Skills Development

It is with a great sense of happiness and pride that Sri Lanka hosts the World Conference on Youth 2014. Sri Lanka has always been an ardent pursuer of youth empowerment and their participation in policy making, and the WCY 2014 marks yet another milestone in our journey ahead. WCY 2014 being the first ever world youth conference to be held in an Asian country, with the participation of over 1500 delegates, the responsibility is indeed tremendous. Our objective is to create an inclusive platform for young people and policy makers, to engage in a dialogue that surpasses generations, and to come up with a concrete plan as to how young people should be mainstreamed in the Post 2015 Development Agenda. The Government of Sri Lanka has not only committed its resources, but also its heart and soul towards reaching our goal.

The support extended by the United Nations in our efforts has been truly magnanimous. The WCY 2014 is welcomed by two UN resolutions, and the H.E. Ban Ki Moon, the Secretary General of the UN himself, expressed his support and enthusiasm towards the Conference. The UN involvement in the preparations for the thematic areas, and the overall support by Ahmad Alhendawi, the Special Envoy on Youth, are giant pillars strengths behind the conference. Apart from the United Nations, several international organizations too have rallied behind us, extending their utmost cooperation towards our objective.

With great excitement, we look forward to the WCY 2014.

We look forward to the future.

Hon. Namal Rajapaksa

Member of Parliament for Hambantota District

As a young parliamentarian, I have always believed and advocated for young people to be given their due place in policy formulation and implementation. Young people are not the leaders of tomorrow, but today. We have the dream to see positive change in our societies, and the ability to drive forward to attain our dreams.

Thus, it is with great anticipation that we look forward to the World Conference on Youth 2014. This will indeed be the platform for young people to come together, raise their voice, and to reach a consensual decision with policy makers on how we the young people should be mainstreamed into decision making.

It is with great happiness that we the young people of Hambanthota await your arrival in our city for the Opening Ceremony of the WCY 2014. As the host city for the Commonwealth Youth Forum, and declared as a ‘Youth City’, Hambanthota will be an ideal place to start this journey from.

This is our time. Let us rise up to it.