More than 177 Scouts from 80 countries are in Rogla, a mountain resort in Slovenia, for the four-day 12th World Scout Youth Forum (WSYF) that began today. The strong support from the National Scouting Organizations in sending their delegates to the Forum has made it the biggest-ever Forum to be held to date.
The day started with welcome remarks by Felipe De Paolo (http://scout.org/node/33225), Chairman of the Forum, and João Armando Goncalves (http://scout.org/node/33261), member of the World Scout Committee. Also present was keynote speaker of the Forum, Ahmad Alhendawi, UN Secretary General Special Envoy on Youth.
The Welcome Session included proceedings on the adoption of the Rules of Procedure, presentation and adoption of the agenda, presentation of the objectives, contents and working methods, and appointment of draft committee and tellers.
Esben Holager, one of the Youth Advisors, presented the report on the Recommendations of the 11th World Scout Youth Forum, outlining that majority of the recommendations in the Triennium Report 2011-2014 were worked on. There were two questions from the floor – one was on the World Scouting representation and external relations support, and the other was whether there would be an increase in the number of Youth representation in the World Scout Committee.
Highlight of the day was the International Team session activities. Different from previous forums, the 12th WSYF saw participants being grouped internationally. The rationale was to encourage participants to collaborate across borders so that there would be a strong exchange of commonalities and differences, an opportunity for them to embrace unity in diversity.
The “From Manila to Panama: What are our Regions doing?” was also an interesting session as it gave insights into how the six regions were carrying out their programmes. This was a good best practices sharing session, in an interactive way.
At 8.00pm, all the participants gathered at the outdoor tent for the Opening Ceremony. Jernej Stritih, the president of ZTS (Zveza Tabornikov Slovenije), Slovenian Scout Association, warmly welcomed everyone to the Forum, Felipe and João also shared inspiring messages, encouraging Scouts to leverage the “scarf connection” and be “active citizens of the world”. Ahmad Alhendawi also spoke at the event, calling on each and every Scout to be a global citizen in their quest to create a better world.