The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) this year was attended by the Commonwealth leaders and foreign Ministers including His Majesty Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Seri Baginda Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mui’zzaddin Waddaulah, Sultan dan Yang Di-Pertuan Negara Brunei Darussalam.
Ahead of the CHOGM, the Commonwealth Youth Forum was held from 16thApril to 18thApril 2018 in London, United Kingdom at Queen Elizabeth II Centre, Westminster. The Commonwealth Youth Forum takes place every two years. Previously in Malta, it is to gather youth representatives of different organisations from 53 Commonwealth Countries to discuss the topics on fairness, prosperity, sustainability and security for a better Commonwealth. The theme for this year’s CHOGM is ‘’Towards a Common Future’’ with a focus on in the hope to achieve the United Nations 2030 17 Sustainability Development Goals.
Attending the Commonwealth Youth Forum was national youth delegate was Ak. Mohd. Aqil Pengiran Jaya, vice president of Brunei Student Union and currently the founder of Brunei Youth Potential in UK. He is undertaking BSc Earth Science at Imperial College London. Another national youth delegate, Riyani Safwanah binti Dato Paduka Haji Sidek is from London South Bank University majoring in MSc Refugee Studies and representing Youth Against Slavery Brunei (YAS).
The event began with an introduction to the Youth Forum’s theme, ‘’Powering our Common Future’’. The forum was also opened by Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, HRH Prince Harry. The forum was also attended by HRH Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The Rt Hon Theresa May MP and The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth. The forum consisted of panels with speakers including advocates, social, entrepreneurs, social scientists, scientists and human rights campaigners. Delegates participated in the interactive breakout sessions and action plan sessions to discuss on the topics on fairness, prosperity, security and sustainability for a better Commonwealth to be brought up at the CHOGM meeting.
National youth delegates were invited to attend an evening reception with Prime Minister Theresa May, Commonwealth leaders and Foreign Ministers at the Sky Garden, London.