DAY 1: ARRIVAL AND REGISTRATION FOR THE 19TH MELAKA INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DIALOGUE
Melaka, 23th June 2019 – THIS day marked another exceptional event for the World Assembly of Youth (WAY), as proud sponsors, participants, speakers and volunteers assembled for the 19th Melaka International Youth Dialogue (MIYD), which is taking place from 23rd to 27th June 2019 at La Boss Hotel in Melaka, Malaysia.
The theme for this year is ‘Youth Deconstructing Fake News’ and has been selected to uplift ideas and encourage young people to attain truthful and reliable means of communication, and distribute authentic and trustworthy information. Particularly, the assurance of democratic value in all aspects of life, and realisation of responsible freedom of expression by protecting and taking time to sort the truth from fiction without becoming cynical. Additionally, the recommendations guided by this selected theme are expected to contribute favourably in youth development as well as the betterment of society as a whole. Young people play a key role in delivering these missions and they should be viewed and treated as assets and drivers of media literacy and sustainable development.
We have the honour to welcome various local and international speakers including Mr. Patrick Sciarratta (USA), Ms. Lillian Aber (Uganda), Ms. Aishwarya Narasimhadevara (USA), Mr. Syed Nabeel Hassan Tirmazi (Pakistan), Mr. Binit Gurung (Nepal), Mr. Mohammad Shariar Nafees (Bangladesh), Mr. Andre Oboler (Australia), Mr. Kyung-Tae Jang (Democratic Republic of Korea), Mr. Dario Abdula Camal (Mozambique), Mr. Badrul Hisham Badrudin (Malaysia), Dr. Aung Than Oo (Myanmar), Mr. Nor Arlene Tan (Malaysia), Dr. Barieenee Michael Nwielaghi (Nigeria), and Mr. Steve Leonard Harison (Indonesia) who will share their expertise and experience in the plenary sessions scheduled to take place tomorrow. It was indeed, an exciting moment to welcome the delegates and speakers from across the globe. An informal dinner was also held to welcome all speakers, chairpersons, and participants.
As a norm of welcoming the delegates, an ice-breaking session was held to serve as a casual way to get all participants to mingle with one another and also get a detailed review on the programme for the next 4 days. We received delegates from countries like China, USA, Uganda, Korea, Malaysia, Nigeria, Mozambique, Indonesia, Australia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Bangladesh, United Kingdom, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Malaysia, Russia, and etc.
With the arrival day gone, everybody is looking forward to both the opening ceremony and plenary sessions happening the next day. The participants will gain knowledge from the invited speakers and chairpersons that will challenge, encourage, inspire, and stimulate them as well as highlighting on the significance of fake news. The day ended well as all delegates retired to their rooms ahead of tomorrow’s schedule.
DAY 2: OPENING CEREMONY AND PLENARY SESSIONS FOR THE 19TH MELAKA INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DIALOGUE
Melaka, 24th June 2019 - The WAY Headquarters hosted yet another successful opening ceremony of the 19th Melaka International Youth Dialogue (18th MIYD) in the La Boss Hotel here in Melaka, today.
Dignitaries in attendance included representatives from the Embassies of Syria Arab Republic, Yemen, and Palestine, Vice Presidents of WAY, President of Malaysian Youth Council, representatives of parterns, as well as our very own WAY Secretary General, Ms. Ediola Pashollari.
The Secretary General of World Assembly of Youth, Ms. Ediola Pashollari introduced the theme of this year MIYD, ‘Youth Deconstructing Fake News‘ during her opening remarks. She welcomed all participants to the dialogue and thanked all the youth organisations, government bodies, sponsors, speakers, volunteers, WAY Secretariat members, delegates, and dignitaries for contributing their time and making themselves available for this event. She implored all young people present here today to participate and be part of the workshops and speak out to express their opinions. In her welcoming speech she emphasis on "young people are the leaders of today", hence young people should, by all means, appreciate platforms such as this, MIYD, to speak up and speak out on issues. Deconstructing fake news is an issue that needs the right strategies and mediums at various levels.
Next was a short video presentation from Ms. Aya Chebbi, Special Envoy on Youth for African Union congratulating the World Assembly of Youth and all the participants and delegates for making out time to attend the 19th Melaka International Youth Dialogue and then urged us all to speak up for what is right and stand up to advocate for the deconstruction of fake news in our societies. The video was followed shortly after with remarks by the President of the Malaysian Youth Council, Mr. Jufitri Joha. He addressed the participants and all attendees at the opening. He said that fake news is most common among young people. He also mentioned that new technology enhances fake news in the present age. He said the next generation must be present against this fake news and as youths attending the MIYD, we must contribute our own quota to tackle this issue effectively.
The MIYD did not just start this year, we showed a video on how the annual dialogue has evolved over the years from 2001 till today. The President of the World Assembly of Youth, Hon. Datuk Seri Utama Ir. Idris Haron, in his remarks said that "it has been reported that youth people are the most susceptible in dispersing the fake news. Youth people do visit the fake news sites more frequently than others. Governments cannot do it alone. Neither can the NGOs. There should be a full partnership between the governments, intergovernmental organizations such as: the UN, NGOs, academic institutions and civil society. Everyone has a role to play. Youth councils and organisations, international and local NGOs all have a key role in supporting and being voices for the youth. There is still a lot to do and we do not plan to rest nor back down until we achieve a common goal."
The official opening ceremony was officiated by the President of WAY which was followed by awarding the tokens of appreciation to the Guests of Honor and dignitaries present. Photos were also taken with all representatives from different countries, speakers, volunteers, and partners.
During the three plenary sessions, there were motivating speakers from different countries including: Australia, USA, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Korea, Indonesia, Yemen, Uganda, and Nigeria. They presented on the challenges and impacts of fake news – misinformation and disinformation; youth voices towards deconstructing fake news; and the role of CSOs and NGOs on media literacy. The sessions were educational as speakers shared their knowledge and awareness on fake news. We applaud young people for interacting with speakers during the question and answer sections. After that, the day ended with astounding cultural performances from all participants, volunteers, and WAY staffs.
Overall, it marked another exceptional event led by the World Assembly of Youth. We look forward to two more luminous days!
DAY 3: WORKSHOP OF THE 19TH MELAKA INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DIALOGUE
Melaka, 25th June 2019 – TODAY, 25th June 2019, was a day filled with bright ideas and commitment! All the participants discussed their thoughts and opinions and put it into recommendations, which will be adopted for fake news policy discussions. The recommendations were derived from the given theme: The Role of All Stakeholders in Deconstructing Fake News.
Time was given to all participants to discuss in groups on the principal concerns of how fake news affects people worldwide, advancing those with direct implications for their well-being, now, and in the future. The youth were divided into several groups and asked to interact among one another within the group, develop ideas, and suggest solutions that would be presented after their discussions.
The day-long workshop was based on the role of all stakeholders in deconstructing fake news. The platform was given to participants as an opportunity to develop their ideas and allow others to recommend the best ways to address the issue of deconstructing fake news for all stakeholders including public sector, private sector, non-government organisations, media, and young people. During the group presentations, they all expressed the points they felt had some impact on their lives.
Later that evening, a meeting to draft the declaration based on the recommendations pertaining to youth and fake news was convened upon their return from refreshing and dinner. The purpose was for all participants to consolidate their different views and perspectives related to the issues of fake news and finalise the outcome document with the most suitable solutions and recommendations.
Interesting philosophies, new knowledge, and practical thinking were passed around by speakers and participants creating magnificent discussions, upon which some agreed and others agreed to disagree but which led to a useful and accessible, final outcome document.
It was an incredible and positive end to another fruitful day.
DAY 4: CLOSING CEREMONY FOR THE 19TH MELAKA INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DIALOGUE
Melaka, 26th June 2019 - THE last day of the 19th Melaka International Youth Dialogue was filled with many remarkable moments. The day began with the presentation of the 19th MIYD Draft Declaration which was later adopted by all participants present. Everyone participated well proving that they, indeed, paid attention to the advice and feedback given by various speakers from the past days and their peers during the workshops.
At the conclusion of the session, all participants and special guests had some free time to mingle, bond and explore and later returned to the hotel to prepare for the gala dinner.
The farewell gala dinner and closing ceremony was held later that night at the La Boss Hotel Ballroom. Guests included the President of the World Assembly of Youth, Hon. Datuk Seri Utama Ir. Idris Haron, Vice Presidents of the World Assembly of Youth, Heads of Diplomatic Missions in Malaysia, representatives of the Asian Youth Council, the Commonwealth Youth Council, the Malaysian Youth Council and the Commonwealth Youth Innovation Hub, and the Secretary General of the World Assembly of Youth.
WAY Secretary General, Ms. Ediola Pashollari initiated the evening with her speech, where she welcomed and thanked all respected guests, speakers, sponsors, participants, and volunteers. She stated that “youth should now take ownership to this declaration… they should take it to their peers, organisations, and other stakeholders, in their respective countries, for implementation”. She went on to appreciate all the participants for their efforts in making the 19th MIYD a fruitful and memorable dialogue.
A video presentation on Youth Deconstructing Fake News was played showing the affect and challenges deriving from fake news among youth people and other stakehonders. Later on the final MIYD Delcaration was read to all present. Then the pulpit was later left for Hon. Datuk Seri Utama Ir. Idris Haron, the President of World Assembly of Youth as he appreciated the participants for their time and patience during this dialogue and everyone who has made themselves present from the beginning of this dialogue to the end. He ended his speech by thanking the organisers and sponsors for their kind assistance and endless hard work. At the end of the gala ceremony, the sponsors and partners were awarded with tokens of appreciation. Besides that, the MIYD volunteers were later thanked and awarded with certificates for their dedication and valuable efforts, without them the 19th MIYD could have not been a great success.
The celebration was concluded with a photo session with partners, speakers, volunteers, and sponsors. The night ended with many tremendous cultural performances, magnificent band show, exciting dances, and a lot of laughter while all young people with great minds mingled.
A night to remember! Without a doubt, it was not only a successful but also a mesmerizing and entertaining one!
DAY 5: DEPARTURE DAY FOR THE 19TH MELAKA INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DIALOGUE
Melaka, 27th June 2019 – TODAY is the last day of the 19th Melaka International Youth Dialogue, as everyone was saying their goodbyes to each other. The participants, delegates, and speakers were all delighted for the experience and knowledge gained during this dialogue but sad as they departed. Though it was a disheartening moment but we, at the World Assembly of Youth (WAY), believe that we should not say ‘farewell’, instead, we should all say ‘see you’ as we are looking forward to the next year’s 20th MIYD, with more mirth and jubilant moments.
We also would like to exploit this opportunity to thank all partners, sponsors, organising committee, volunteers, and all parties who were dedicatedly involved in making this dialogue a grand success. Our honour and gratitude are also dedicated to all participants of the 19th Melaka International Youth Dialogue who worked so hard in constructing the declaration which contains a number of recommendations for implementation by stakeholders including Public Sector, Private Sector, NGOs/ IGOs, Media, and young people alike.
We are delightful to witness all the young people participated in this dialogue were so determined to go back and disseminate the declaration in their countries and to facilitate the move for youth deconstructing fake news. We, in the World Assembly of Youth, are both grateful and blessed to always have your support and we shall count on youth leaders, especially from our member organisations and 19th MIYD participants, in channeling the declaration to the right stakeholders.