Twenty-six young Cambodians joined senior Ministry of Justice officials and representatives from civil society organisations (CSOs) in the Kingdom and other countries in the region in exchanging views and opinions on the role of civil society and youth participation in politics and national development.
The dialogue – sponsored by German political think tank Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) and aimed at enhancing cooperation and development – was held over three days from June 10-12 in Kampot province.
Topics included the situation and role of CSOs in Cambodia and other democratic societies; the role and participation of youth in political affairs; the relationships between governments and CSOs; and challenges in Cambodia and other democratic societies.
Justice ministry secretary of state Chin Malin said on June 12 that he had taken part in the discussions on “the role of CSOs and the participation of youth in political affairs”.
“In the dialogue, we discussed what role young people play in politics in Cambodia in the development of the country, drawing on the experiences of neighbouring countries in the region,” he said, noting that young people from five other ASEAN countries also took part in the discussions.
“We also discussed the roles of CSOs in politics and national development, challenges between CSOs, and how to address any differences and mistrust between government and CSOs to close any gaps and be able to work together to develop the country,” Malin said.
Sin Putheary, executive director of the Cooperation Committee for Cambodia (CCC), said offering young people opportunities to build their capabilities will give them choices and enable good cooperation in political and technical affairs for applying their knowledge in the country’s development.
“We believe that youth are the key actors for positive change, so I hope young people can engage in policy dialogue and the country’s policy development,” she said.