Melaka, 28th June 2012 – THE Opening Ceremony of the 12th Melaka International Youth Dialogue(MIYD) was held today at Puteri Resort with an encouraging presence of the Hon. Datuk Gan Tian Loo, the State Minister of Youth, Sports, and Education who officiated this event under the theme “Health, It’s My Right!” Also in attendance was the Hon. Datuk Wira Ir. Idris Haron, President of the World Assembly of Youth, Hon. Mr. Moamar Al-Eryani, Minister of Youth and Sports, Republic of Yemen, Ambassadors and invited guests representing various countries. The ceremony was also honoured to have the presence of WAY Vice Presidents and Executive Members.

In her welcoming address, the Secretary General of World Assembly of Youth,

Ms. Ediola Pashollari, introduced the theme of the MIYD taking the participants and delegates throughout the journey of the dialogue. She welcomed the participants both to the dialogue and the land of Malaysia and thanked all the youth organizations, government bodies, donors, speakers, delegates and dignitaries for having took their time to make themselves available for the event. The President of WAY, Hon. Datuk Wira Ir. Idris Haron confirmed the implementation of youth actions towards impacting the world by bringing reformation to policies in existence through Youth Organizations and National Youth Councils. He reaffirmed the youth of WAY’s Millennium Plan of Actions towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals by taping on the potency of youth, governments and private sectors. He continued to encourage the youth to collectively work together, respecting other’s rights when bringing out ideas that will reform health care systems.

State Minister of Youth, Sports, and Education, Malaysia in an effort to bring awareness on health concerns, brought the youth to the realization of the pressure of an increasing population, lack of education, disability, and poverty have on youth health. He also noted the youth’s responsibilities towards ensuring sustainable health while shunning risky behaviours such as violence and drug abuse that jeopardize acceptable health. The Minister went on to encourage the youth to be able to stand for their rights while accepting responsibilities, getting themselves involved in community based programs and events to both educate and be trained in substantial health practices. He concluded by encouraging WAY, youth organizations, governments and private sectors to play their roles in providing the youth with resources, facilities and necessary equipments to improve their health.

The opening ceremony was then concluded auspiciously with the

presentations of tokens of appreciation to the guest of honour and dignitaries present and took photos with representatives from different countries. The day was continued with three plenary sessions; stakeholders perspective towards youth health; effects of social health on young people; and the challenges that young people face in this era. Presentations from government representative bodies, academicians, youth organizations, NGOs and private sectors from various countries shared their thoughts and expertise by joining forces to equip and empower the youth on healthy living in different perspectives.

On bringing the day to a conclusion, the participants were taken to the Melaka Planetarium for a relaxed and interactive yet educative tour before proceeding to the official dinner hosted by the Mayor of the Melaka Historical City Council which included cultural and musical performances to welcome and entertain the guests.

The first step towards achieving youth health rights has begun. Thus far the participants have proved to be very active and we therefore look forward to having an interactive and informative workshops that will deliver a fruitful outcome, for the next two days.

Youth Health, it’s YOUR Right!