On Dec 8 and 10, 2021, Filipino youth leaders joined Summit for Democracy events hosted by high-level U.S. officials that focused on the role of youth in strengthening democracy worldwide.
Lynrose Jane Genon, a Philippine Youth Leadership Program alumna and Young Women Leaders for Peace-Philippines Executive Committee Member, joined a panel with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and young leaders from Ukraine, Zambia, and Chile, for a virtual Young Democratic Leaders Discussion on December 8.
Meanwhile, YSEALI Academic Fellow and National Society of Parliamentarians Chief Operating Officer Bryan Ezra Gonzales joined a select group of 70 youth leaders at the Youth Town Hall with U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield on December 10 to discuss challenges to democratic norms and potential solutions.
During the Young Democratic Leaders Discussion with Secretary Blinken, Genon shared her insights about Filipino youth’s views on challenges to youth engagement in democracy, opportunities for civic participation, and ways to support Filipino youth’s political and civic involvement.
Genon said the “discussion is timely and relevant, and it is a vital platform for [youth] to voice [their] truths to those in positions of power, in the hopes of influencing legislation and bringing genuine and practical change to young people’s lives.”
On the Youth Town Hall with Ambassador Greenfield, Gonzales said, “young people today face the immense challenge of facilitating a better normal, not only in the post-pandemic sense, but in building a more optimistic future for democracy everywhere.”
“The Youth Town Hall was a timely opportunity for young people to reflect on our role in redefining liberty and what it should mean in a world that continues to be threatened by tyranny,” he added.
U.S. President Joe Biden hosted the Summit for Democracy on December 9-10, bringing together leaders from government, civil society, and the private sector to set an agenda for democratic renewal and tackle the most significant challenges faced by democracies today through collective action. Recorded sessions of the summit can be found at https://www.state.gov/summit-for-democracy/.