The scene of CICA Youth Development Forum 2023. The 2023 CICA Youth Development Forum aims to gather the strength and pool the wisdom of Asian youth, promote mutual trust and cooperation among young people from CICA member countries, and contribute the combined strength of the younger generation in promoting regional prosperity (CHINA PICTORIAL)
CICA Youth Development Forum 2023 was held in Beijing on August 31. Themed “Igniting Youth Power for Asian Development,” the forum was directed by China International Communications Group (CICG) and Secretariat of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA).
Du Zhanyuan, President of CICG, Kairat Sarybay, Secretary General of CICA, and Fariz Mehdawi, Palestinian Ambassador to China, delivered opening speeches.
The forum was attended by Sun Zhuangzhi, Director of the Institute of Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Ding Xiaoxing, Director of the Institute of Eurasian Studies, China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, Anastasia Safronova, Administrator of Russia-BRICS Project Office for International Youth Cooperation, Zhai Kun, Professor at the School of International Studies and Deputy Director of the Institute of Area Studies, Peking University. The forum was also available online, bringing the total number of guests to around 100, including diplomatic envoys, experts, heads of media, and youth representatives from 18 CICA member countries including Cambodia, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, South Korea, Russia, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.
Du Zhanyuan, President of CICG, delivers a speech (CHINA PICTORIAL)
In his speech, Du Zhanyuan pointed out that in the face of unprecedented changes in the world, it is the responsibility and obligation of young people to pay attention to the security and development of their home countries and Asia as a whole, and think about major issues related to the future of Asia and the world. In this regard, Du made three proposals: firstly, the youth should firmly support peace and stability in Asia; secondly, young people should actively promote sustainable development in Asia; thirdly, young people should strive to promote cultural exchanges and cooperation in Asia. Nowadays, young people should establish the concept of mutual respect, uphold the spirit of openness and inclusiveness, attach importance to the inheritance and innovation of diverse civilizations, serve as ambassadors for Asian cultural exchanges, and jointly continue to create new glories of Asian civilization.
Kairat Sarybay, Secretary General of CICA, delivers a speech (CHINA PICTORIAL)
Kairat Sarybay pointed out that CICA member states actively interact on a wide range of humanitarian issues. He said that gen Z represents the main driving force for sustainable development and a prosperous Asia. He believed that this forum would undoubtedly be marked by spirited debates, insightful conversations, and shared wisdom. He called for joint efforts for building an Asia that is not only prosperous but also equitable and harmonious, and also called for young people to build a brighter future, one that is inclusive, innovative, and driven by the incredible potential of our youth.
Fariz Mehdawi emphasized that facing a world undergoing major changes unseen in a century, youngsters should tap into their creativity, and bridge the development gap in union. Meanwhile, they should learn insightful viewpoints from media coverage with an open mind. Mehdawi also shared how he had witnessed miraculous economic development in China thanks to a diligent and self-reliant young generation. At the same time, he expressed high appreciation for CICA’s work in promoting youth development and looked forward to more in-depth cooperation with CICA in the future.
Sun Zhuangzhi, Ding Xiaoxing, Anastasia Safronova, and Zhai Kun deliver themed speeches.
In his speech, Sun Zhuangzhi said that since its establishment 31 years ago, CICA has emerged as an important platform for exchange on security issue in Asia. Facing a world undergoing major changes unseen in a century, youngsters should actively promote economic and cultural exchanges in Asian countries, practice multilateralism, promote mutual trust and cooperation, and maintain security and stability in Asia based on the philosophy of mutual respect, fairness, justice and cooperation.
According to Ding Xiaoxing, in recent years, China and Central Asian countries have been actively collaborating in areas of youth concern, including education, employment, social equity, and development opportunities. This partnership aims to provide robust developmental prospects for young people, leveraging economic growth and job opportunities. At the same time, China and Central Asian countries have also actively expanded people-to-people and cultural cooperation in sports and tourism via the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the China-Central Asian Head-of-State Meeting Mechanism etc. With the advancement of the construction of a China-Central Asia community with a shared future, the mutual understanding and exchanges between the young people of China and Central Asian countries will go deeper.
Anastasia Safronova believed that the youth of Asia always expresses their interest in fruitful cooperation, practice-oriented ideas, maintaining friendly and trusting relations. And the Russia-BRICS Project Office for International Youth Cooperation unites the efforts of Russia to support the systematic interaction of youth and youth organizations in Russia and the BRICS countries. She said that the office will continue to act as a platform of opportunities for BRICS young people for their self-realization, for improving their professional and creative competencies. She remarked that Chinese participants are indispensable partners at interactions among young people and cultural exchanges among BRICS countries.
Zhai Kun said that young people in Asia need to further strengthen exchanges, contribute wisdom and take actions to strengthen the regional and global youth cooperation. He suggested that youth groups in CICA member states carry out “global deficit reduction actions” to reduce “global deficits” in cognition, trust, action, rules, moral etc. Now, some youth activities under the CICA framework have already played a role in reducing the “deficits” and CICA’s youth cooperation is expected to have more appeal and influence in the future.
Youth representatives from various fields of CICA member countries conducted exchanges and discussions on topics including "Highlighting the Role of Youth in Promoting Asian Development," "Pooling the Wisdom of Youth for Innovation and Entrepreneurshipz" "Amplifying Youth Voices and Contributing Youth Power" and "Fostering Mutual Aid and Promoting Volunteering Service," contributing youth strength to promoting regional common prosperity (CHINA PICTORIAL)
Valeriia Chernogorodova, head of the international section of the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs, Meerim Taabaldieva, communications teacher at Compass Collage, Blogger/Influencer, Choi Yumin, young ambassador for Cultural Exchange between China and South Korea at the South Korean Embassy in China, Dina Aikenova, Counsellor of the Association of China Researchers, Kazakhstan, Sanjar Mardonov, lecturer of tourism management at Silk Road International University of Tourism and Cultural Heritage, Mahnoor Makhdoom, chief editor of China Affairs at The Daily Mail, Pakistan, Sobirov Mustakim, CEO of Hangzhou Silk Trade and Founder of EGTP Trade Platform, Mohamed Jihad Mohamed Moustafa, Egyptian student majoring in broadcasting and anchoring, Communication University of China, Nguyen Thi Thanh Thanh, Vietnamese video blogger and student pursuing a master’s degree in international education of Chinese Language at Beijing Language and Culture University, Irina Makarova, Senior Manager of Overseas Project, Sinolingua, Devinder Kumar, Indian Journalist with China-India Dialogue of CICG Center for Europe and Asia, and other youth representatives from various fields of CICA member countries conducted exchanges and discussions on topics including “Highlighting the Role of Youth in Promoting Asian Development,” “Pooling the Wisdom of Youth for Innovation and Entrepreneurship” “Amplifying Youth Voices and Contributing Youth Power” and “Fostering Mutual Aid and Promoting Volunteering Service,” contributing youth strength to promoting regional common prosperity.
CICA was initiated by Kazakhstan at the 47th United Nations General Assembly in 1992, with China as a founding member. Being an important security dialogue and consultation mechanism in the Asian region, CICA has played a constructive role in promoting mutual trust and cooperation among countries and maintaining security and stability in Asia ever since its establishment. The 2023 CICA Youth Development Forum aims to gather the strength and pool the wisdom of Asian youth, promote mutual trust and cooperation among young people from CICA member countries, and contribute the combined strength of the younger generation in promoting regional prosperity.