The 7th edition of the youth conference Empower 2015 organised by Reach Out to Asia (Rota), an initiative of Qatar Foundation, will start today at the Student Centre of the Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU).
The three-day conference will be opened in the presence of top leaders from Qatar as well as several international speakers from around the world.
Over 450 young leaders from 23 countries are expected to take part in the conference. The participants come from the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, Asia and North America.
Empower is Qatar’s first and largest youth-led summit, equipping young people in Qatar and the region to take active roles in building their communities and discovering a voice on global issues.
The annual youth conference has adopted the theme “Youth Development for Peaceful Societies.” The conference will focus on the important role that youth around the world can play towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals especially those related to education and peaceful societies.
The main aim of the conference is to raise awareness and build knowledge and capacity that enables young people to take leadership roles in addressing local and international developmental issues.
This year’s focus of the conference is the role of education and dialogue. It will be guided by two goals in particular, concerned with inclusive and equitable quality education and the promotion of lifelong learning opportunities.
According to Rota officials, this year’s conference has placed a special focus on Turkey which is currently celebrating a bilateral ‘Year of Culture’ with Qatar. The event features a combination of seminars and panel discussions from influential community figures as well as keynote speeches, lectures, group workshops, off-site visits and a student public debate.
The officials also pointed out that the event will have some prominent international figures who will address the gathering. The popular Kuwaiti recording artist Humood al-Khader will perform at the conference on the opening day.
The conference will support youth exploration of education for social transformation, global citizenship and peace building. Conference activities will also highlight the importance of co-operation among educational institutions, governments and non-governmental organisations, in strengthening shared values and standards to support educational reforms.
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