At the 9th Commonwealth Youth Forum (CYF) held in Sri Lanka in November 2013, the newly established Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC) was inaugurated. Covering 53 states and 1.2 billion young people from across Commonwealth nations, it is now the largest youth representative body in the world. It has the potential to be a truly global democratic platform embedded in international governance with the opportunity to stand up to governments where their actions and policies belie or belittle the interests of young people. But a lack of funding, representation and freedom of voice could severely limit its scope and autonomy.
We take a look at the new structure, the opportunities and challenges and ask: Will the CYC actually give Commonwealth youth a voice and will it be heard?
For additional context, read our article “Pomp or Participation?: The 9th Commonwealth Youth Forum in Sri Lanka” at youthpolicy.org/blog/2013/11/pomp-or-participation-commonwealth-youth-forum.