The CYF is the ‘centrepiece’ of the Commonwealth’s youth engagement strategy and is the highest decision-making forum for young people in the Commonwealth. It brings together young leaders from across the Commonwealth to exchange ideas; build networks; identify and debate development issues, challenges and opportunities; agree youth-led initiatives to mitigate challenges facing young people; and create opportunities to enhance young potential.
The CYF incorporates the Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC) General Assembly during which youth leaders receive reports on progress from the last CYF and hold their CYC executives to account on their stewardship of the CYC. In this way, the CYF has a built-in monitoring and accountability framework from CHOGM to CHOGM.
The CHOGM Intergenerational Dialogue with Heads of Government is another component that provides the highest-level demonstration of the Commonwealth’s continued commitment to respecting and including young people’s perspectives and capabilities in decision-making.
CYF delegates take part in interactive sessions with delegates in the other parallel forums, as both panelists and delegates. In addition, selected youth representatives from CYF are invited to attend the Pre-CHOGM Foreign Ministers Meeting to present their policy recommendations and concrete proposals and plans for youth-led action. Rwanda expects up to 350 delegates including two official youth delegates from each member country, as well as other specially invited/selected international and local young people, and key youth sector stakeholders.