MELAKA, 24th June – WAY Headquarters hosted yet another successful opening ceremony at the 19th Melaka International Youth Dialogue (189h MIYD) in the La Boss Hotel here in Melaka, today.

Dignitaries in attendance included representatives from the embassies of Syria Arab Republic and Palestine, vice president of WAY and President of Malaysian Youth Council as well as our very own WAY Secretary General, Miss Ediola Pashollari.

The Secretary General of World Assembly of Youth, Miss 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 the 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, African Union Special Envoy on youth for Ethiopia 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 by the president of the Malaysian Youth Council, Mr Jufitri bin Joha. He addressed the participants and all attendees at the opening. He said 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 and we have a video to show 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 said 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 the 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 section. After that, the day ended with astounding cultural performances from all participants, volunteers and staffs.

Overall, it marked another exceptional event led by the World Assembly of Youth. We look forward to two more luminous days!

Date: 24th June 2019

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