80 young people from across all communities to set out their vision and values for a shared future on the island of Ireland.
As part of the Government’s Shared Island initiative, a new Youth Forum is being launched today, 8 September, by the Taoiseach and the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD.
The Forum brings together 80 young people aged 18 to 25 who will meet in a deliberative process over the next year to set out their vision and values for a shared future on the island of Ireland.
The Forum comprises 40 young civic representatives from Ireland and 40 from Northern Ireland and reflects gender, ethnic, community, faith and other identity diversities.
The Forum’s first meeting takes place in Dublin Castle, and subsequent meetings will be held at locations across the island.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD said:
“It is great to see the new Shared Island Youth Forum meeting for the first time today. I wish the 80 Forum members every success in their deliberations over the next year, and hope their vision and values for how we share this island across all communities will inspire us all.”
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheál Martin TD, said:
“I warmly welcome the start of the new Youth Forum today, as part of the Government’s Shared Island initiative. The Forum is a genuinely new and significant step.
It is vital that young people are central to discussions on how we share the island across all communities in the years ahead.”
Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, said:
“I am honoured to address the first meeting of the Shared Island Youth Forum today on behalf of the Government.
Crucially, the diversity of the island today is well-represented in the Youth Forum with 40 members from Ireland, 40 from Northern Ireland, and a broad base of gender, ethnic, community, faith and other identity diversities.
It is through this type of diverse forum that we can have a meaningful engagement and make a long-lasting difference.
I thank the National Youth Council of Ireland and Youth Action Northern Ireland for their partnership and efforts in convening the Shared Island Youth Forum.”
Mary Cunningham, CEO, National Youth Council of Ireland said:
“Today marks the beginning of an extraordinary journey exploring a shared future for the island of Ireland. The launch of the Shared Island Youth Forum is a testament to the power of youth engagement and the critical role of youth work in ensuring we have meaningful participation.
Through this forum, young people from all communities, North and South, will come together to deliberate, share ideas, and build consensus under the principles of the Good Friday Agreement. As we embark on this journey, let us remember that the voices of our youth are not just our future but our guiding stars in the present, illuminating the path towards a brighter shared tomorrow for all.”