Norwegian envoy says youth voices ignored in Bangladesh

Published at : 28 May 2024, 02:10 pm
Norwegian envoy says youth voices ignored in Bangladesh

The Royal Norwegian Embassy in Dhaka and Plan International Bangladesh jointly organised a Seminar titled ‘Listen to the Voices of the Youth’ at the Norwegian Ambassador’s residence on Monday, 27 May. Around 25 youths from diverse backgrounds participated in the seminar. 

Norwegian Ambassador to Bangladesh H.E. Espen Rikter-Svendsen inaugurated the Seminar. In his welcome remarks, he stated that, 
"Bangladesh still has a youthful population, but the voices of young people are seldom heard in the public room. Solutions to the country’s and the world’s many challenges and pressing issues must be sought in dialogue with the people who will still be here in the decades ahead."

In her opening remarks the Country Director of Plan International Bangladesh, Kabita Bose stressed on increasing investment in youth activism and leadership, she mentioned, “We want girls and youths to have ample opportunities to flourish as we want youths to fulfil their dreams and we are here to support them. Plan International Bangladesh is here to provide them assistance to achieve economic empowerment and network them with proper channels to increase their leadership and entrepreneurship quality.” 

Afterwards, keynote speaker, Raka Noshin Nower and Nasima Akter Nisha made their speeches. The keynote speakers brought forth important topics like promoting better social awareness of youth matters, gender equality, freedom of speech, creativity and tolerance among youth, creating a more skilled youth workforce, and facilitating youth entrepreneurship to combat unemployment. They also highlighted on the existing traditional social norms, and how to overcome those for advocating gender equality rights to create a positive impact for the youth in the country.  

Addressing on some important social issues faced by Bangladeshi Youth. Keynote speaker Raka Noshin Nower said, “Youths should be motivated and provoked positively. They have to practice and exercise their dreams to achieve those. There are many resources around them, they have to curate it by gathering accurate knowledge.” 

The other keynote speaker, Nasima Akter Nishi focused on entrepreneurship, skill and opportunities for Bangladeshi youth. She pointed out, “Skill development is required for the youths to move forward in this competitive society. They have to think beyond. In this regard support from NGOs, Government, and Corporates is required to facilitate youth employment”. 

The seminar included a panel discussion and breakout sessions where the youth participants came up with their take on these crucial social issues and possible solutions to navigate these issues.

During the panel discussion, the participant youths also raised other related societal issues like key factors that drive child marriage, disability inclusion in institutions and workplaces, problems of gender norms and stereotyping, preventing persecution of minority and marginal communities including their youth, challenges faced by the youth while seeking employment and undertaking startups and acquiring skills that are in demand in the ever-changing job market and spheres of entrepreneurship. 

In this event, Nishath Sultana, Director - Policy, Advocacy, Influencing and Campaigns provided closing remarks. This unique event provided a platform to engage in in-depth discussions, exchange innovative ideas and gain valuable insights into the current situation and future of the youth of Bangladesh. The event provided a platform to engage in profound discussions, exchange innovative ideas and gain valuable insights into the current situation of youth in Bangladesh.