1st D-8 Youth Ministers’ meeting holds in Dhaka

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The Ministers of Youth from the Developing-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation, otherwise known as the D-8, have held their First Ministerial Meeting on Youth from 20-21 May 2024. The well attended meeting was hosted by the Government of Bangladesh, where it was unanimously agreed to establish the D-8 Youth Council, to be hosted by Bangladesh in Dhaka, starting in 2024.

The delegates from the D-8 countries also agreed, in principle, on the draft constitution for establishing the D-8 Youth Council. They requested all member states to work together with Bangladesh to perfect the constitution. In the meantime, the ministers also agreed to kickstart the Council by organizing several programs.

The Meeting, chaired by Mr. Nazmul Hassan, the Minister of Youth and Sports of Bangladesh, also issued the ‘’Dhaka Declaration on Youth’’ 2024. The Declaration encompasses programs and activities to be organized by the member states to mainstream youth empowerment, within the D-8 framework.

Among the programs identified were capacity-building for youth in digitalization, skill development, entrepreneurship, and climate resilience actions. D-8 delegates also mulled the idea of conducting youth exchange programs, aimed at providing an avenue for sharing best practices and promoting cross-cultural understanding among the young people from the D-8 member states.

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In his statement, Ambassador Isiaka Abdulqadir Imam, the Secretary-General of the D-8, emphasized that the D-8 Youth Council and the Dhaka Declaration will work in tandem to promote youth empowerment in the D-8’s work. He argued that with the youth forming a significant proportion of the D-8 population, it is timely to mainstream youth empowerment in the D-8 agenda.

“I am happy that the D-8 established the Youth Council. It has been a long time coming since it was designed in 2021,” added Ambassador Imam. “I am grateful to the Bangladeshi Government for their commitment to hosting the Council.”

 A day prior to the Ministerial Session, Bangladesh also hosted the D-8 Youth Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) in Dhaka on 20 May. The SOM laid the groundwork for the successful hosting of the ministerial session.

Both the Ministerial Meeting and the SOM also offered their condolences to the people and the Government of the Islamic of Iran on the untimely demise of President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, who tragically passed away in the tragic helicopter crash on Sunday 19 May.

Nigeria will host the second D-8 Youth Ministerial Meeting and the SOM in Abuja in 2025.

The D-8 is an intergovernmental organization founded in 1997 by Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Türkiye. Its primary objectives are to promote the economic performance of the Member States in trade, industry, development of small and medium enterprises, tourism, transportation, agriculture, and food security.

Considering the young population of its Member States, the D-8 started the mainstreaming of youth empowerment in its work in 2021.

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