Youth Assemblies: A Gateway for the Future Generation

By Zaara Atho

While SLMUN prepares to return for its 15th session, we can’t help but find ourselves in deep turmoil. Starting from fuel shortages, food insecurity, public unrest, corruption, and a dying economy, our beautiful island nation has hit rock bottom. Responsibility for this crisis lies mainly in the hands of corruption and poor policy-making which has plagued the Sri Lankan government.

For years, SLMUN has been a platform where delegates can experience crisis management such as these and learn how to mitigate as well as avoid them. Our conferences thrive on  enabling participants to widen their understanding of the world to get a different perspective on it by working in the shoes of world leaders. This year, we don’t have to look far. The Sri Lanka Youth Assembly is a simulation that focuses entirely on Sri Lanka and its plight. It will encourage the future leaders of this country to discuss their views and provide solutions for the current crisis by working in the shoes of our leaders.  At SLMUN, we believe that the youth is a key component in saving Sri Lanka, thus, this new addition will be a gateway for them to prosper.

What should you expect?

In contrast to the normal committee structure, the Youth Assembly will include four separate bodies: The Main Youth Assembly, Economic Reforms Committee, Constitutional Reforms Committee, and the Independent Reforms Committee. All four of these committees will run parallel and debate will proceed as usual. On the 2nd half of the final day of the conference, we aim to have all the National Youth Assembly representatives from all the committees meet. Voting and resolutions will be finalised during this stage, once this is done we hope to present a final report to a government lobby authority. This means that the work done by delegates at the Assembly will not just be for show but instead, will go towards helping Sri Lanka.

What’s even more exciting is that delegates won’t be representing a specific nation or body but rather themselves. Therefore, the Youth assembly will provide a platform for the youth to effectively voice their thoughts and concerns on the current crisis, allowing them to show us and the rest of the world, their impressive potential as our future.

Economic Reforms Committee

This is one out of the three sub-committees that will work under the Main Youth Assembly. The Economic Reforms Committee will have an independent mandate when it comes to the final assent and primarily focuses on discussing ways out of the current economic crisis that is eating Sri Lanka alive. Delegates are free to suggest economic reforms that they believe will help our economy recover and prosper in the near future. In a country brimming with potential, the youth will be given the opportunity to use their economic knowledge to effectively deliver solutions and ideas that will utilise resources accordingly. In this regard, areas of discussion can include the changes required in fiscal policies and monetary policies, the importance of an independent Central Bank in Sri Lanka, and ways in which the economy can gain foreign currency as well as properly use it for productive investments. It is no secret that the current crisis was born from economic plight, a once prospering economy had been brought to its knees due to the poor decision-making of the government. This simulation will allow delegates to learn from the mistakes of the government and introduce new ways to avoid such crises and mitigate the current ones.

Constitutional Reforms Committee

This is the second sub-committee and similar to the Economics Reforms Committee, will have an independent mandate for the final assent. The Constitutional Reforms Committee will highlight the solutions and possible reforms required in the Sri Lankan legal system such as constitutional reforms and judiciary changes. When we discuss the current crisis Sri Lanka is in, one of the first things that come to mind is corruption. The corruption that has hooked onto our government for years, feeding into every nook and cranny of our legal system. Delegates in this committee are welcome to promote an independent justice system that is free of this corruption and works for the welfare of the citizens. Essentially allowing them to tackle an almost century-old system and encourage new change which is necessary for a better living environment.

Independent Commissions Reforms Committee

This is the final sub-committee of the Youth Assembly and perhaps the most interesting one that delegates will get to experience. The Independent Reforms Committee allows delegates to foster debate on existing and proposed commissions such as ones concerning education, the electoral system, and even the training of police. Ultimately, enabling them to challenge the independence of commissions. As aforementioned, independent commissions, policies, and decisions that are free of corruption are required to help Sri Lanka escape this current crisis and this commission tackles this directly.

SLMUN is thrilled to introduce this new addition to our committees and hopes that this will provide a useful learning experience for our youth even in such dire circumstances. It is not easy to tackle years of problems that have weakened our country almost beyond repair, however, the only way out is in. We are prepared to fight this crisis hands-on and we hope you are too. After all, an educated youth is necessary to make the changes we so desperately require.