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          Time for young entrepreneurs to assume responsibility as global contributors

          • Paris, 26 November 2012

          Addressing the opening plenary of the Junior Chamber International (JCI) World Congress in Taipei last week, World Chambers Federation (WCF) Chair Rona Yircali called on young people to take a leadership role in addressing the concerns of the global economy and act as pioneers in its transformation.

          WCF Chair Rona Yircali and JCI leadership at the 2012 Junior Chamber International World Congress in Taipei

          Underscoring that the voice of youth had been largely absent from global decision-making platforms and mechanisms to date Mr Yircali said: “The on-going economic crisis is a wakeup call for every economic actor in the world.”

          Noting that 50% of the world’s population was aged under 27 and living in urban areas, Mr Yircali urged young entrepreneurs to assume their responsibilities to contribute effectively to shaping the new world order. “There is a clear need for young business people to step forward with specific ideas for consideration by G20 governments in these volatile times,” he said. “The youth of today is an invaluable resource for development and is critical to the transformation of the global social, economic and political landscape. The global community is becoming increasingly aware that solutions to our global challenges must engage youth at all levels.”

          During his keynote speech Mr Yircali also highlighted the long standing working relationship between ICC WCF and JCI, and current collaboration to bring the voice of youth into the ICC G20 work programme, particularly on unemployment and business creation issues. Following Mr Yircali’s address, JCI President Bertold Daems and JCI Secretary General Edson Kodama submitted JCI G20 proposals and projects, for inclusion in ICC messages to G20 countries.

          On Thursday 22 November – during a JCI award ceremony recognizing the pro-active work undertaken by JCI chapters around the world – JCI Lebanon and JCI Switzerland were awarded the ICC medal for the best local economic development programme. The ICC medal has been awarded to JCI chapters for more than 20 years and recognizes the projects relating to international business cooperation and investment, business and trade development, partnerships (public and private sector, including business associations and chambers), executive training and development.

          JCI Switzerland was recognized for its SME success programme in association with FER (the federation des entreprises Romandes). The programme provides training to both senior and junior entrepreneurs on the financial, psychological, legal and operational aspects of transferring a business from retiring business owners to the incoming generation.

          JCI Lebanon received acclaim for its cross-country ‘Global Business Opportunities’ – a 17-day business planning training programme, bringing young entrepreneurs aged 20-28 from UAE, Colombia, and Lebanon skills to develop their respective projects.

          ICC’s partnership with JCI at the global level extends almost 30 years. JCI is a permanent member of the WCF General Council, and a member of its Transnational Chamber Board.

          JCI is a worldwide federation of young leaders and entrepreneurs whose mission is to contribute to the advancement of the global community by providing the opportunity for young people to develop the entrepreneurial and leadership skills needed to generate positive changes in their communities, their countries and the world. Its network comprises approximately 6,000 communities in more than 100 countries worldwide.

          For more information please visit the World Chambers Federation.

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