Getting young people involved in politics in Myanmar is essential for a country making the initial steps towards democracy, both to ensure truly representative politics and to develop the next generation of leadership. To support DIPD’s youth in politics programming in Myanmar, in April DIPD supported a delegation visit in cooperation with the Danish Liberal Democracy Programme (DLDP). The delegation team members included Bent Nicolajsen, Programme Manager from DLDP, Ulrika Brændgaard Nissen from the Danish Liberal Party, and Katrine Isabella Lund from the Liberal Youth (VU).
The two main objectives of the programme were:
- To share knowledge and hold discussion on strategies for enhancing the role of youth in political leadership, decision making and policy making and;
- To support political parties with strategies for identifying, mentoring, supporting and advancing youth politicians within their parties.
Youth Wings Development Conference
On 24th April, DIPD and DLDP held a Youth Wings Development Conference in Yangon. The 50 Youth participants from 15 Parties and 4 CSO networks came from different states and regions. The Conference’s purpose was to enhance the role of youth in political parties, and consider how youth can contribute to politics and political parties, drawing on the experiences from Denmark.
The delegation team discussed how youth can contribute to politics and political parties. While party youth wings in Denmark are very independent, youth wings in Myanmar are less autonomous from their mother parties. The role of Danish Youth Council was held up as a good example of a model of cooperation and coordination among different youth groups and youth wings. Delegation members and participants also discussed the role of social media in campaigning and other topics. The campaigning methods and tools are important for youth wings development and party youth recruitment process.
Participants provided positive feedback on the ideas shared during the presentations and discussions.
They discuss on how to give a message with smart ways about of the policy of party, the dialogue, trainings, the talk show, the supporting the jobs of MPs and helping the campaigning and so on. We will use the social media effectively and explaining a good message of party background and policy during in the recruitment
said Moe San Suu Kyi, Chairperson of the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) Youth Wing.
Bilateral Technical Assistance and Capacity Development Meetings
After the youth conference, the delegation held several bilateral technical assistance and capacity development meetings with political parties, including the NLD, PaO National Organization (PNO), and Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD). These meetings provided an opportunity to share experiences and go into greater depth on issues of specific interest to different political party youth wings. The Danish Delegation Team shared experiences from youth participation in politics in Denmark and compared with the local situations of Myanmar. They had a good discussion on age limits, electoral systems, the support of Government to youth council, and education systems. Katrine Lund also explained how the party youth contributed to campaigns and how the youth are helping their members of parliament. Discussions of campaign and recruitment tools were very interesting for Myanmar party youth.
Meetings with National Youth Council and Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee Parties
To engage civil society on coordinating youth movements and assess how youth can participate in the Myanmar peace process, the delegation also visited to the offices of the National Youth Congress and the Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee political parties coordination office. At the National Youth Congress meeting, the delegation and the NYC shared different experiences on how to coordinate young people and generate their engagement in social and political change. At the UPDJC meeting, delegates and party leaders shared how young people could have their voices realized in the peace process.
Overall the visit provided useful opportunities for sharing experiences and inspiration that can guide political party youth in Myanmar as they seek to participate in politics and ensure that youth voices are well represented in Myanmar’s politics.
We had a chance to meet with party youth from different parties, which is a chance to know what they are doing and to be good friends. One more thing is the opportunities to learn about the experiences from Denmark; how the Danish youth are engaged in politics and elections, good to known and how we can practice with local situations. That’s why we appreciated the collaboration with DIPD”
said Zin Ni Ni Win, the youngest Member of Parliament from Magwe Regional Parliament.
“I learned many things from this youth exchanged program, how Danish youth are very active and engaged in politics is wonderful. I appreciate the Danish Delegation Team and DIDP Team for arranging this program”, said Khun Hla Soe – Pa-O Youth Network, youth wing from Pa-O National Organization.
The ideas shared will make an important contribution to DIPD’s youth programming in Myanmar over the coming three years, and set the tone for engagement of young people in Myanmar’s political transition and the upcoming 2020 elections.
For more information about DIPD’s work in Myanmar, please visit the Myanmar page
Contact Myanmar Country Representative Khin Thazin Myint: firstname.lastname@example.org