This is the first time in the country’s history that a declaration has been passed in only four days in a parliament

Farah Kabir, the Country Director of ActionAid Bangladesh stated to the mock parliamentarians present at the closing ceremony

Many say “youth are the future leaders” but I must say, youth are the leaders of today not tomorrow. They have proved it once again during the Model Youth Parliament held in Dhaka from 5th to 8th March 2011.

ACTIVISTA Bangladesh and ActionAid Bangladesh’s Communication Unit in collaboration with United Nations Youth and the Students Association of Bangladesh (UNYSAB) were responsible for planning this unique event.

The Model Youth Parliament was an eye opener for me.

The four day long program ended up with the ‘’Dhaka Youth Declaration’’ on 8th March creating momentum on the eve of 100 years of International Women’s Day.

I always hated the parliamentarians, but now I want to be the Prime Minister of the country. The model youth parliament has changed my mind set and gave me a vision.

Abdullah, one of the participants of the Model Youth Parliament 2011 was expressing his feelings with the audience before the closing ceremony.

The youth activists stood on the shoes of the policy makers and came out with the declaration in a democratic way.

Students from different universities and from different parts of the country raised their voices on the issue of ‘Women’s participation in Education, Technology and Farming: Precondition for Empowerment’.

I spoke to Farhat Zannat, a participant from Dhaka University. In her words, “the way the entire session was designed was unparalleled.

“The four day long Model Youth Parliament was one of the most memorable events of my life. We always talk about the youth, but the participation of the youth has always been ignored by the policy makers. We, the youth, have always been eager to assist the government to ensure good governance and the rights of the marginalized.” she added. 

I asked Mr. Zakir Hasan, the vice President of United Nations Youth and Students association of Bangladesh why the event was quite so unique.  

“The Model Youth Parliament 2011 was the first ever of its type in Bangladesh and was really a historical event. This was truly a perfect example of a parliament that we ought to dream for. Through the splendid and constructive debate, discussion and exchange of views, the self-sacrificing way of thinking of the young generation for the greater good and their intensity of thoughts were once again proved here.”

Later the ‘Dhaka Youth Declaration 2011’ was sent to the policy makers and was handed over to Mr. Yeafees Osman, hon’ble State Minister, the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Peoples’ republic of Bangladesh so that the views of the young could be considered while implementing different policies regarding youth and women.