In Photos: The Opening Ceremony of the World Conference on Youth, 2014

Sarah Lindsay

Senior Technical Officer

The opening ceremony of the World Conference on Youth took place today in Hambantota, Sri Lanka. For the first time a world youth conference was held in Asia and celebrated youths from all over the world. Over 1500 youth participants, from ages 18 to 29, two official delegates from each country and 350 from marginalized backgrounds gathered to celebrate the beginning of the conference.  The goal of this gathering is to create an inclusive youth participation platform that enables young people to review the progress of the Millennium Development Goals and to share ideas, experiences, and innovative approaches for effectively contributing to the post-2015 development agenda and its implementation.  

The Leadership, Management & Governance (LMG) Project is participating in the conference by hosting a side event with the International Planned Parenthood Federation and the International Youth Alliance on Family Planning titled "Building Youth Leadership for Family Planning in the Post-2015 Development Agenda." Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for live updates from the conference.

Youth Delegates arrive at the Magam Ruhunupura International Convention Centre (MRICC) in Hambantota, Sri Lanka. All Photos: Sarah Lindsay/MSH Staff

Guests were extended a warm welcome from Sri Lankan musicians and dancers as they entered the MRICC.

Youth Delegates from Indonesia await the opening of the conference with traditional Sri Lankan masks.

The agenda for the opening ceremony.

John W. Ashe, President of the United Nations General Assembly, addresses the audience that included over 29 Youth Ministers. 

Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa welcomes delegates to the conference and told the guests, "The primary responsibility to include youth in the development agenda rests with the State."

Cultural dancers ended the night by depicting the many animals and landscapes of Sri Lanka.