The World Bank Group hosted its second annual Youth Summit in partnership with United Nations Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth on October 7th 2014 at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington DC. The summit was focused on discussing the issues surrounding youth engagement and participation pertaining to open government, transparency and accountability.
The Summit brings youth leaders, activists, public policy researchers, entrepreneurs and academics from all around the globe representing Asia, Africa, Europe, Americas and Europe. Anshul Pachouri, who is a young public policy researcher, is selected as a delegate to participate in the World Bank Group Youth Summit 2014 from India. Anshul has contributed many research articles and papers for conferences at leading public policy schools such as Harvard Kennedy School, National University of Singapore and University of Cambridge. He has also contributed many articles and opinion pieces, focusing on various socio-economic issues in leading Indian Business Newspapers such as The Financial Express and The Hindu Businessline. His participation in the Youth Summit embarks though small but an important milestone in the youth diplomacy of India.
India currently is facing the challenge of relatively low representation of the voices of the Indian Youth at the multilateral forums including United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The last time, when India has included any Youth delegate in its official delegation to UNGA was in year 2000. It’s the high time that the Government should have a closer look on these issues in order to establish synergies between active youth diplomacy and proactive foreign policy of our Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi.
The Youth Summit was initiated with the Ministerial discussion by His Excellency Erion Veliaj, Minister for Social Welfare and Youth, Albania on youth and their active role in politics. The program progressed with different plenary sessions on issues related to role of youth in responsive governments and inclusive governance. Few of notable speakers in plenary sessions include Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, U.N. Envoy for Youth; Edith Jibunoh, Civil Society Adviser, World Bank Group; Nigel Chapman, President and CEO, Plan International and Frank Vogl, Co-Founder, Transparency International; Raphael Obonyo, The Youth Congress of Kenya and Nur Laiq, Former Social Media Chief Content Officer, Indian National Congress Party. The plenary sessions were followed by the different workshops focused on promoting the youth contribution on key issues related to the theme of the Youth Summit.
Anshul participated in the workshop “Towards a Global Youth-led Monitoring and Accountability Framework: new approaches to governance and accountability in a post-2015 world” which was hosted by Restless Development & the United Nations Development Programme. Other workshops at the Youth Summit were hosted by organizations such as Asian Development Bank, World Bank Group Governance Practice, Partnership for Transparency Fund, Plan International and Young Americas Business Trust among others.
Dr. Jim Kong Kim, President of World Bank Group addressed the Youth delegates at the closing ceremony of the summit. During the closing ceremony, Indian Delegate Anshul Pachouri humbly asked Dr. Kim a question that “In developing countries such as India, we need to adopt a multi-dimensional approach towards poverty measurement as poverty identification based on just income per day doesn’t necessarily reflect about conditions of access to health, sanitation and education etc. Do you think we might need to change the whole way in which the poverty is looked at present and what in your opinion is the role of youth pertaining to this issue?"
Dr. Kim replied that, “We at the World Bank completely understand this concern and that is why we focus and invest a lot of resources on social sectors such as education, health etc. We have changed a lot and we are still working to see how we can look at measuring poverty in a more comprehensive way. But current income based measures do take account of expenditures on these sectors. I have working very closely with your Prime Minister Narendra Modi on developmental issues and I want to assure you that things will improve soon. Now, as a youth it’s your duty to take care that the government delivers."
Apart from the Youth Summit, Anshul Pachouri also participated in the 2014 IMF/World Bank annual meetings scheduled from October 6-12. During the annual meetings, he also interacted with distinguished dignitaries including Central Bank Governors and other country representatives. Having a keen interest in youth diplomacy, Anshul had also been part of reputed International youth conferences worldwide such as Harvard Conference of Harvard Project of Asian and International Relations (HPAIR) and Indian Youth Delegation to UN Headquarters, New York and New York Stock Exchange during Kairos Global Summit, 2011.
Photo caption: Anshul Pachouri at the World Bank Youth Summit 2014