Remarks by Ms. Andrea Sawka Fiegl, Director, Office of Democracy and Governance, USAID/Cambodia, National Youth Forum

Speeches Shim

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

(as prepared for delivery)

Mr. Pisey Pech, Executive Director of Transparency International. Ladies and gentlemen. Good morning!

I am really happy to be here today, supporting young talent and youth-led initiatives.

I first want to acknowledge Transparency International Cambodia. Your efforts to support democracy, accountability, transparency, women, and youth in leadership are inspirational to us all. 

And to all of the bright, young faces I see here today: thank you for your enthusiasm and drive, your creativity and determination, as you seek to make a difference in your communities, your country, and in the world.

Young people often unfairly bear the consequences of mistakes made generations before.

But they also have always been active participants in their own destinies, and those of the people around them.

So often, it is young people who are leading change. If you look at political and civil rights movements around the world and throughout history, it is young people who are at the frontlines.

Today’s young people — those under the age of 30 — make up half of the world’s population.  They have experienced a global pandemic, numerous conflicts, uprisings, and economic crises. Amidst this, they have figured out how to harness the power of social media and continue to be creative and passionate problem solvers! They lead in their families, their communities, and their governments. Whether or not we call them leaders.

At USAID, our aim is to support a generation of young Cambodians that are informed, active participants in their communities. A generation of leaders who uphold respect for fundamental freedoms and seek to build a Cambodia where all voices are heard. USAID projects are not just youth-focused or youth-relevant, but they strive to be youth-led.

We are here to support youth and their aspirations. We want youth to lead.  Especially those who are often excluded because of their identities whether they are LGBTQIA+ individuals, indigenous people, persons with disabilities, women, girls, or racial, ethnic, and religious minorities.

I am happy to provide one personal example of this leadership. USAID’s Office of Democracy and Governance has a very distinguished alumni. Our former intern, Ly Vinyean, is the recipient of a Transparency International Cambodia small grant. After working in our office, he was inspired to improve public knowledge about the One Window Service. He identified a need, came up with a plan, and operationalized it. His project promotes transparency and accountability and helps increase civic participation.  His work, like all of yours, is making a difference in his community.

With this week’s International Youth Day, we celebrate you, the youth leaders, the Ly’s of the world, whose contributions and leadership are critical to every major challenge the world faces today. USAID is enormously proud to partner with you.

Thank you.

Issuing Country 

Last updated: September 02, 2022

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