Ngawang Gyeltshen represents Bhutan in One Young World Summit in Manchester

Ngawang Gyeltshen with other participants during the summit. Pic: Ngawang Gyeltshen

KARMA CHIMI | Thimphu

Bhutan was represented by Ngawang Gyeltshen in the One Young World (OYW) Summit in Manchester from 5 to 8 September 2022.

The summit is considered the largest global community for young leaders which brings together more than 2,000 people from around 190 countries.

OYW summit this year explored themes ranging from conflict prevention and gender equality to health, oceans, and ethical leadership.

OYW is the global community for young leaders. Its mission is to create a fair, sustainable future for all, by developing young leaders who are taking action to solve the world’s big challenges.

It builds young leaders’ expertise, elevates their profiles, and inspires them to increase their impact.

Earlier this year, Ngawang was one of the 11 young leaders around the world recognized as European Development Days (EDD) Young Leader 2022. He was the only EDD Young Leader from Asia this year.

“I must say Manchester was a great host city, as an OYW Peace Ambassador, I have represented Bhutan three times to the summit now. It was a great honor and privilege to be the flag bearer of Bhutan at the opening ceremony held in the internationally renowned concert venue, Bridgewater Hall, home of the Hallé Orchestra,” said Ngawang

Meghan Markle, The Duchess of Sussex, declared the Summit open in her keynote address alongside speeches from Bob Geldof, author Lem Sissay OBE, Former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, and a virtual message from Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus. Other global leaders in attendance included Dame Sarah Storey, Paul Poland, and Dr. Sylvia Earle.

During the summit, the young ambassador from Bhutan highlighted the reasons for the peace and prosperity in Bhutan. “Other peace ambassadors, most of whom come from conflict zones, were truly inspired and touched by the beacon of hope Bhutan represents.”

Many participants also expressed their heartfelt wish to visit Bhutan someday. The OYW Summit is hosted in a different city every year. Ngawang hopes someday Bhutan will host a One Young World Summit.

Through the summit, Ngawang learned how special Bhutan is, and why we must do everything in our hands to ensure we live up to the Royal Vision of His Majesty.

Currently, Ngawang focuses on developing Agro-food systems in Bhutan and promoting social entrepreneurship. The many inspiring stories he has heard and the friends he made during this year’s summit will inspire him to continue his work in Bhutan.

The One Young World Peace Ambassadors initiative supports young leaders globally in efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism, build peace and promote conflict resolution.

The OYW program empowers, connects, and helps support lasting impact for the young people fighting for peace in their local communities.

In addition to the One Young World Summit, the organization also runs a yearlong program working to fund young leaders making an impact on sustainable development goals.

The annual OYW Summit brings together 2,000 of the brightest young leaders from every country and sector, working to accelerate social impact both in-person and digitally.

Its annual Summit brings together the brightest young leaders from every country and sector who are working to accelerate social impact across the globe.

Ngawang Gyeltshen said, “It is very important for us, young people, to be responsible ambassadors of our country when attending a prestigious summit such as the OYW Summit.”

He further added, it also gives us an opportunity to really understand how much Bhutan has to offer to the rest of the world.

“Ensuring food sovereignty and encouraging innovative social entrepreneurship should be a key goal for a sustainable future for Bhutan. And we, the young people, must be active custodians of this future, not passive bystanders,” stressed the young ambassador.

To date, Summits have taken place in London (2010), Zurich (2011), Pittsburgh (2012), Johannesburg (2013), Dublin (2014), Bangkok (2015), Ottawa (2016), Bogota (2017), The Hague (2018), London (2019) and Munich (2021).

Ngawang said, “I would like to reiterate my message that what we have to offer as a small country is very special. Let us all work together to live up to the vision of our king by being responsible global citizens.”