To harness inclusiveness in society and diversity in youth leadership, Bangladesh Youth Leadership Centre (BYLC) Youth Leadership Summit 2021 began online Wednesday.

The four-day virtual summit is bringing together 300 delegates from 149 educational institutions across 45 districts.

The ultimate goal of the summit is to guide delegates to work together to craft solutions that can help them achieve inclusivity in terms of opportunities to work, exercising equal rights, access to better health, livelihood, education, and skills development within the society.

The sessions will focus on listening to the concerns of marginalised youths - including young people with disabilities; youths from Dalit, madrassa, and low-income backgrounds.

The theme of this year's summit is "Journey towards an inclusive Bangladesh" and United News of Bangladesh is the official online news partner of the event.

A virtual inauguration ceremony titled "Why embracing diversity matters in leadership" was arranged on Tuesday afternoon.

"Throughout human history, it has been seen that without cultivating the virtues of diversity and inclusiveness sustainable peace cannot be pursued by any country or organisation," Dr AK Abdul Momen said while addressing the youth delegates at the programme.

"As the leaders of the future, you have to face many challenges regarding intolerance, climate change and more. It is time to create a global campaign against all existing challenges, and you have to take the leadership role on behalf of Bangladesh, for the sake of humanity," he added.

Swedish Ambassador to Bangladesh Alexandra Berg von Linde emphasised the need for inclusive and sustainable development by ensuring equal access to opportunities and resources. "Youths have a tremendous role to play in raising their voices, being agents of change and demanding accountability."

"Young people can capture the imagination of the world. You are not alone; you all are the strength of the world. You have the power to inspire, to make decision-makers around the world listen, and the power to change outcomes," Alexandra added.

Dr Gowher Rizvi, International Affairs advisor to the prime minister said, "The very presence of diversity around a table means that we will challenge each other's assumptions, and by doing that, we will be able to better understand each other."

BYLC President Ejaj Ahmad said, "Only through embracing diversity and inclusiveness, we can collectively solve our challenges and problems."

After the inaugural ceremony, a plenary session was held with industry experts titled "Bangladesh at 50: achievements and challenges for an inclusive society," followed by a team-building activity session titled "What is your vision for Bangladesh?" as part of the opening day of this virtual summit.

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