B3B Voices Concerns and Recommendations to the Commonwealth Secretariat's Pre-Election Youth Consultation

Written by B3B Papua New Guinea

On the 30th of March 2022, Trish Toua joined a diverse group of young people in the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Pre-Election Youth Consultation hosted by the National Youth Development Authority at Airways Hotel,  representing Beyond Three Billion (B3B) — Papua New GuineaTrish is the Head of Impact and Strategy of B3B-PNG.

“It was an honor and a privilege to be part of the consultation as it was a great opportunity to express my personal concerns and the organisation’s stand regarding the impact of the election preparation and how it can affect the future of young people in the long run.

We collectively identified a myriad of issues that youths face leading up to the elections. In the process, we identified changes based on the previous elections to see the positive and negative impacts, subsequently developing recommendations that would best improve the pre-election process and preparation for the commonwealth.”

“I was beyond inspired to see a room filled with 20 young people from different backgrounds, sexual orientation, special needs and religion. I am even more empowered to see young women sitting at the round table, each of whom contributed meaningfully and articulated their concerns firmly with passion to see change — to see a better tomorrow for young people. 

Sixty percent of Papua New Guinea’s population is made up of youths. Therefore, it is important now more than ever as empowered youths to empower our peers so that young people are fully equipped with all the information necessary to make decisions based on their own will, to vote freely without any form of influence, threat or bribery and to understand that the power belongs to the people NOT the ‘leaders’.

I can’t wait to see the changes young people make.”

One of B3B’s thrusts is creating and strengthening platforms for the participation of youth in democratic process. Young Papua New Guineans comprise approximately two-thirds of the country’s population; providing them with a voice to directly influence policy processes is integral to the principle of inclusive governance the B3B stands for. 

Having young people come together to discuss and, more importantly, recommend evidence-based solutions is a concrete step forward into a future that is safe, fair, and peaceful. Papua New Guinea is a great nation and there is no doubt that it has all the potential to be progress even further. Young Papua New Guineans have a key role in making this happen.

Beyond Three Billion extends its thanks to National Youth Development Authority for extending an invitation to us to participate in this dialogue and we look forward to more opportunities to work together for the good of our young people.