Speaking ahead of the announcement, Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said:
“At a time of unprecedented crises rooted in disease, discrimination and disaster, young people are at a greater risk of challenges such as poverty, unemployment and learning losses than other age groups. However, they remain positive, engaged and vocal on the challenges and opportunities.
“Now more than ever, we must harness their exceptional vitality, impressive talent and unique perspective in our recovery and rebuilding efforts.
“The Commonwealth Youth Council is one such platform, which gives young leaders, who best understand the challenges of their peers, a seat at tables to influence decisions affecting their lives and future.”
The call for nominations was first announced last year, however, the entire process was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. All interested candidates, including those who applied last year, must resubmit their nominations.
Commonwealth citizens, aged 15-27, can apply for the following positions from 15 January 2021 until 21 February 2021:
1. Chairperson (open only to applicants from the Pacific region, as per the rotation policy)
2. Vice-Chairperson – Inclusion and Engagement
3. Vice-Chairperson – Partnerships and Resources
4. Vice-Chairperson – Policy and Advocacy
5. Regional Representative – Africa and Europe
6. Regional Representative – Asia Regional
7. Representative – Caribbean and Americas
8. Regional Representative – Pacific
9. Representative Special Interest Groups (any region)
Candidates must have at least three years of experience working with a national youth council or a youth-led organisation.
After nominations and clearance, shortlisted candidates will campaign online from 29 March 2021 to 5 May 2021. The elections will take place online on 7 and 8 May 2021, while the results will be announced on 10 May 2021.
Set up in 2013, the Commonwealth Youth Council aims to advance the youth development agenda across the 54 member countries and boost young people’s participation at all levels of decision-making.