Youth Declaration

Submitted by ayatadmin on Mon, 11/19/2007 - 11:13.

APACT 2007 – A Youth Declaration

Executive Summary:
At the 8th APACT Conference in Taipei, Taiwan, a delegation of young representatives, hailing from 14 countries across the Asia Pacific and invited by the Taiwan International Medical Alliance (TIMA), took part in a workshop Asian Youth Against Tobacco (AYAT).
The workshop’s agenda focused on how Youth can be more actively engaged in tobacco control, as well as stepping up to handle more executive responsibility in the fight against tobacco. The consensus from the group is to signal their intention and their commitment to tobacco control, culminating in the Youth Declaration.
This Declaration indicates the desire by Youth to have a voice, to be taken seriously, as well as be given a chance to take on positions of importance.

Key Words: Youth; Advocacy; Declaration; APACT


YOUTH DECLARATION

Tobacco addiction is the world’s leading preventable cause of disease and death. If people begin to use tobacco early in life, they would have ruined their future health.
Thus, there is a need for youth empowerment. Through our greater involvement in tobacco control activities and policy development, we the Youth can be the aegis for the tobacco industry’s most vulnerable prey: US. It is this need to involve the future generation, this “social capital”, that has spurred countries from North America, through Europe, to Australia to involve Youth in tobacco control.

On the occasion of the 8th Asia Pacific Conference on Tobacco or Health, we put forth our propositions in the following areas.

1. Youth voice is not heard. Accordingly, we request for:
• People to attentively listen to us
• People to genuinely consider our proposal
2. Youth are not taken seriously. Accordingly, we request for:
• Appreciation and recognition of our talents
• Utilization and implementation of our ideas
• Support from governmental and non-governmental agencies in our pursuit of Tobacco Control
3. Youth are not readily given positions of importance. Accordingly, we request for positions in:
• Research and evaluation
• Program development
• Policy making
• Advocacy
• Health education and promotion
• Other positions that will allow us to expand our scope of participation in Tobacco Control

It is oft forgotten that us, the Youth, are already making real and positive change in our local communities, countries and internationally. We lobby, implement advocacy programs, cessation services, and provide training and education. We strive for innovative and successful solutions to global tobacco challenges by exchanging information, sharing best practices and by cross-cultural networking.
If we, the Youth, are to continue to play these essential roles, it is incumbent on all governments to support and harness our potential. Accordingly, we call for:
• National governments to involve a young person within their national delegation, and provide funding to enable young people to fully participate in international processes and events.
• Increase support for youth-led initiatives on tobacco control and health.
• Young people to be involved in the process of drafting Legislative Acts concerning tobacco control.
• Youth to be part of conceptualizing international and regional conferences and workshops in the future.

This conference has given us an unprecedented opportunity for participation and collaboration. We will waste not this chance to build a sustainable network and bring tobacco control to greater heights in our own countries. We therefore pledge to work in cooperation with governments and other stakeholders to create a smoke-free environment for everyone.