NUI Galway will host the 2013 International Debate Education Association (IDEA) Global Youth Forum where debaters from 48 countries will deliberate on this year’s theme of Digital Freedom. Running from 13-26 August, this is the first time the Forum has been held in Ireland.
Organised in cooperation with NUI Galway’s Literary and Debating Society and the Open Society Foundations – Youth Initiative, the 2013 IDEA Global Youth Forum allows an opportunity for local students to participate and meet peers from all over the world. Now in its 19th year, the Forum is aimed at both novice and experienced debaters and offers students training, competition experiences and the chance to participate in cross-cultural exchange, focussing on issues that affect young people within their communities.
Last year’s Forum in Mexico saw over 250 participants attend from more than 40 countries across Europe, Central and Eastern Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas.
The key focus of the Global Youth Forum is cultural exchange and, unlike a traditional debate competition, the participants are mixed in geographically diverse teams, giving young people the chance to meet and work with students from across the world, with very different experiences to their own.
Steven Nolan, Youth Forum Director for IDEA said: “The Global Youth Forum is an unrivalled opportunity for young people to develop their skills, meet and interact with people from a different background to their own. It’s an excellent opportunity to host the Forum in Galway, and have some local schools take part for the first time.”
Elena Micajkova, a participant from the 2012 Mexico Global Youth Forum said: “The Global Youth Forum is a platform where students train to be world citizens, challenging them to be reasonable, intellectual and to show appreciation for others, giving them an experience in international exchange and co-operation.”
The opening ceremony, which takes place on Tuesday, 13 August at 8pm in the O’Flaherty Lecture Theatre, will be addressed by Marian Harkin MEP.
For more information about the event visit youthforum.idebate.org where workshops and debate rounds will be streamed live.