Commonwealth Local Government Forum

CLGC2023 - Youth leadership for a resilient future

30 October 2023


CLGF’s conference, which takes place in Kigali, Rwanda from 14-17 November 2023, will be discussing the theme of Local Government: Building resilience across the Commonwealth. But, with 60% of the Commonwealth’s population under 30, there can be no long-term sustainability or resilience without robust strategies for the inclusion of young people.

Mainstreaming youth in the programme

Recognising 2023 as the Commonwealth Year of Youth, CLGF will be mainstreaming Youth into the Commonwealth Local Government Conference (CLGC2023). Working jointly with PLATFORMA, the Commonwealth Youth for Sustainable Urbanisation (CYSU) and the Commonwealth Secretariat, as we recognise the important role of young people in shaping our common future, the CLGC2023 programme has been designed to ensure that the voices of young people are heard throughout the conference. While youth delegates are welcome to attend all sessions, the programme will introduce a series of events, activities and provisions, focused on the sub theme Youth Leadership for a Resilient Future. These include:


  • A youth rapporteur for each of the six thematic working group sessions on 15 November
  • A special working group session on Youth Leadership for a resilient future on 16 November
  • A Youth Caucus on 17 November to develop the Youth Recommendations

The sessions will result in the development of a set of outcomes from a youth perspective that will feed into the ongoing work of CLGF and the CYSU, as well as form the basis for the inputs from a wider Youth Perspective into the upcoming CHOGM planned for Samoa in 2024. The aim being to:


  • ensure provision for leadership roles for young people in decision making
  • improve provision of services that meet the needs of young people and support them in achieving their full potential
  • contribute to building inclusive, safe, sustainable and resilient communities for all

The youth element of the conference is being coordinated by Head of Programmes Claire Frost, and Senior Programme Officer-Networks, Janine Xavier-Cross. More information can be found on the conference website.


CLGF Secretary-General Lucy Slack explained: “It is vital that the youth voice is heard as an integral part of our discussions, not as a separate event. The increasing size of our capital and secondary cities, the creation of new cities, and the need to ensure that all communities are safe, inclusive, fair and sustainable mean that input by the youth of the Commonwealth is imperative.”  

Youth in Cities dialogue

Earlier this year, CLGF held two online dialogues with local government and young people from around the Commonwealth, entitled Youth in Cities, organised in conjunction with the Commonwealth Youth for Sustainable Urbanisation (CSYU) Network. The dialogues sought to share and exchange views on the youth agenda; look at democratic and political inclusion; discuss the issues and challenges that young people feel are important; help city leaders and elected representatives to focus on youth priorities in future planning and decisions and incorporate youth views. Both sessions kicked off with a presentation of the research paper commissioned by CLGF and authored by Jane Lumumba.  You can read more about session one and session two. 





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