So after a long night of Consensus we had a super quick breakfast and trudged in for round 2 of consensus early Thursday morning.
Our group broached our new proposal, which took into account the frustrations of the previous night by instead suggesting to have one recommendation with the other recommendations as an appendix. After some back and forth the compromise was reached that all recommendations would form the Communiqué but our proposal would be positioned as a ‘Core Recommendations’ with the other recommendations following as ‘Supporting Recommendations’. This compromise of course slightly missed the point of thinking outside the box but I was comforted that there at least been a slight shift in thinking and that delegates had the opportunity to have the conversation.
We made much quicker and relevant progress now that everyone had a night’s rest on them, however it seemed we might run out of time particularly as we needed to vacate the room for Closing ceremony rehearsals to occur.
With some quick shifting into a new space and many people eating their lunch standing up we continued on with consensus right up until 2.30 when the Closing Ceremony began (many people didn’t even have time to change into their formal clothes).
Closing ceremony included handing over the 2011 legacy items to our Sri Lankan delegates (as Sri Lanka is slotted as the next CHOGM host in 2013), another Haka by some of the Pacific Islanders boys (and guest Lockie Cooke from the Planning team). Speeches, speeches and more speeches as per the course for any Closing ceremony and the sharing of a lovely video of our activities taken during the week.
The official closing was followed by a mad rush of people trying to get photos with one another and their flags before we convened again to determine the 4 CYF representatives for the Sunday Youth Dialogue (as I mentioned being one of the issues raised on Day 3). Delegates separated into their four regions and our Pacific region elected Planning Team Member Ellie as our rep for her hard work and understanding of both the Aussie and Islander perspectives.
Seb, as the spokesperson and face of our group then invited those who wanted to agitate for action on our Communiqué to stay behind and address how we might move forward post CYF. We ended up having somewhat of a cyclic conversation regarding how and what a working group for the Core Recommendation might look like that didn’t really reach a conclusion other than that we should have one. I would’ve loved to be able to put my hand up for this but recognise that I don’t have the charisma, pull, skills or experience to do this justice at this time – however I am absolutely committed to being a support person for this group and contributing where I can.
A small group of us then stayed behind to tease out the key messages of the communiqué into one document for delegates to use when creating media messages or talking about the forum so that we all stay on the same page and get those messages out loud and clear.
Perhaps the loudest of these messages throughout the 4 official days of the forum is: The 1.2 billion youth of the Commonwealth want more than a voice, we want to have the power to act
This little group were then almost late for dinner and the ‘after party’ where delegates shared food and a final night of dancing. The dancing took a while to take off at Fly By Night but when it did, it was again joyous, generous and deliriously FUN! A great night to cap off an exhausting, riveting, frustrating, full week of learning for me.
I’ve attached some photos from the crazy post closing ceremony period and here is a PDF copy of the Final Communiqué as presented to Her Majest Queen Elizabeth II and provided to CHOGM. CYF 2011 Communique FINAL
Last but not least here’s the video shown as part of the closing Ceremony. You can see other clips from the week at the CYF2011 YouTube Channel
This is Our Commonwealth, Our Future.