House Speaker Puan Maharani (center) attends the Y20 Networking Night at Shangri-La Hotel in Jakarta on July 17, 2022. (JG Photo/Jayanty Nada Shofa)

The World Needs More Young Decision Makers: House Speaker to Y20 Delegates

BY :JAYANTY NADA SHOFA

JULY 18, 2022

Jakarta. House Speaker Puan Maharani recently called for more youth representation in decision-making processes.

Addressing the Y20 youth delegates in Jakarta over the weekend, Puan said young people remain incredibly underrepresented in decision-making processes despite being large in number. 

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According to Puan, youth under 30 currently account for more than half of the world’s population. The young population is also forecast to see a 7-percent growth to nearly 1.3 billion by 2030.

Data, however, showed that youth under the age of 30 currently represented 2.6 percent of the world's parliamentary members. 

“At this time, not only do we need to recover, but also to build a resilient world. There are ways to build resilience for the youth: first, we need to empower young people and enhance their participation in the decision-making processes,” Puan told the Y20 youth delegates at the Shangri-La Hotel Jakarta on Sunday night.

“We need to make sure the voice of the young generation is heard at the global, national, and local levels. Youth's political representation needs to be strengthened to bring their interest in formal institutions such as parliaments, government agencies, youth councils,” she said.

In her remarks, Puan also named young people as “the future engine of economic development”. She also highlighted how the inclusion of youth is pivotal to the strengthening of democracy worldwide and the advancement of sustainable development goals (SDGs). Puan added that youth need to not only make commitments but also "walk the talk by translating their commitments into concrete actions on the ground".

The dinner —also known as the networking night— amassed tens of Y20 youth delegates from across the globe. Y20 has been running for 10 years but this marks the first time a house speaker addressed the youth forum. 

For the next few days, the Y20 youth delegates will work on finalizing the Communiqué which comprises a set of policy recommendations. The Y20 is set to present the Communiqué to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo who will later discuss the policy recommendations with the other G20 leaders. 

“It is a privilege for us to sit here today representing all youths and nations. I do hope we can propose strategic policies that are not only beneficial for us, but also for our future, future generations,” Y20 Indonesia 2022 Co-Chair Indra Dwi Prasetyo said.

Over the past few months, youth delegates have joined thorough discussions on Y20’s priority areas, namely: youth employment; digital transformation; sustainable and livable planet; diversity, and inclusion. The Communiqué will likely cover these issues.

A couple of Y20 youth delegates also gave their comments on the sidelines of the networking dinner.

According to Japanese Y20 youth delegate Wakana Asano, it is imperative to raise people’s awareness on diversity and inclusion. Better inclusion calls for substantial changes, but also change of minds, which can be challenging.

“This is something that the G20 leaders can tackle and try to solve the issue,” Asano told the press.

Russian Y20 youth delegate Sergey Zolotov shared his thoughts on House Speaker Puan’s remarks regarding youth participation in decision-making. Zolotov said there should be a balance between the experienced and youth in decision-making processes. 

Zolotov also commented on Indonesia's G20 Presidency.

"Indonesia has a great economic, political and social potential, which are better realized during their leading role in the G20 forum this year," Zolotov said.

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