Wisma Putra to tap youth participation in policy-making

Minister of Foreign Affairs Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah speaks during a discussion at the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations, Kuala Lumpur February 14, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Minister of Foreign Affairs Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah speaks during a discussion at the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations, Kuala Lumpur February 14, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 14 — The Foreign Ministry announced it would set up a platform for various youth organisations to provide feedback on international relations policy.

Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said the ministry will act as a focal point between the platform and the federal government pertaining to international relations issues after several youth representatives agreed to its formation.

“There will be two groups within the platform, youth organisations from Malaysia and international youth organisations headquartered in Malaysia,” he told reporters after attending a roundtable discussion with youths at the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations (IDFR) here.

Among those listed were the Malaysian Youth Council, Malaysian Youth Parliament, Malaysian Youth Diplomacy, United Nations Association of Malaysia (Youth Wing), World Assembly of Youth, Commonwealth Youth Council, Council for Asean Youth Cooperation, and Asia Youth Council.

He was also optimistic that youth clubs overseas may also be welcomed into the fold and given the opportunity to propose their ideas in international relations policy-making.

“Knowing my young brothers and sisters, they are open to such suggestions and there could be a third component in the platform,” he said.

Saifuddin said the proposed platform will also be tasked to decide a depository by collecting all the resolutions and suggestions put forward during various youth conferences worldwide.

“Most importantly, from all these resolutions gathered, we want to identify which one of them can be translated into government policies or activities for the betterment of the people,” he said.

Asked if the ministry would only accept ideas proposed by youth during the previous administration or only look into it after the platform is established, Saifuddin said the ministry will welcome all of it because these were the youths’ view.

Meanwhile he also pointed out that all parties had agreed that communications among stakeholders must be better improved so that all the good work among young activists could be shared and optimised.

He also said the ministry would be extending IDFR’s services to youth clubs and organisations to further improve capacity building through activities organised by youths.

“In a way I am thinking that this is a pool of talents we should be looking at. So beside the normal recruitment processes, this could be one way of looking at talent.

“So we are looking at that angle because there maybe talents among those involved in the activities as some of them who are passionate may turn out to be budding diplomats and may want to continue their career as one,” he said.

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