Second Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Youth Forum

Event | 19 - 20 December 2014 Bangkok, Thailand


The 2nd GMS Youth Forum (GMS YF2) will enable the young people of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) to further explore what it means to GMS Youth for their countries to be connected and contribute to a dynamic community. The GMS YF2 will provide members of the 5th GMS Summit to hear from youth who represent constituencies of young people from their home countries. The 5th GMS Summit will take place on 19-20 December 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand. One component of the GMS Summit will be the GMS YF2, whose theme is GMS Youth: Connected and Contributing to a Dynamic Community.

The GMS YF2 will have 3 elements:

1. National Youth Consultations that will take place in their home country in August-October 2014 (a total of 6 National Youth Consultations will take place, one in each of the 6 GMS countries).

The National Youth Consultation will be an opportunity to solicit diverse ideas from the youth across the country and to consolidate these ideas for a youth message to the Leaders. The participants will first receive a general introduction to the GMS program and the 3 Cs. Then, focusing on the theme of the Summit, the participants will discuss and debate the key issues presented. At the National Youth Consultations, the participants will help facilitate the articulation of a national youth position on several key issues. The common output from the 6 consultations will be the national messages on youth issues that pertain to the Summit theme, offering perspectives from each GMS country. The National Youth Consultations will also ensure that the country team speaks on behalf of youth from its home country, giving them legitimacy.

One university in each country will host the National Youth Consultation. This will include approximately 50-100 participants, including representatives of national youth organizations, students from universities around the country and the 12 shortlisted candidates. The 12 shortlisted candidates will participate actively in the event, and will then join a final interview process at the end of the day during which the 6 finalists (3 women and 3 men) to represent the country will be selected.

Please register for the National Youth Consultation. View the agenda.

2. GMS Youth Caravan, which is a 7-day trip (exact length to be confirmed) through all 6 GMS countries in December and ending in Bangkok for the Summit

This event will bring together the 36 (6 participants per country [3 men and 3 women] x 6 countries) selected GMS youth in learning and working sessions to learn more about the GMS and its achievements and challenges, and to prepare for the Second Youth Forum at the 5th GMS Summit. The Workshop and Caravan will be a first step in building a sense of community among the participants. After an orientation session at the starting point in Jinghong, PRC, a caravan will take the 36 participants on a 7-day (to be confirmed) journey across all 6 GMS countries to help them better understand the essence of the 3Cs. Along the way, participants will hear resource speakers, learn more about the GMS program, and discuss major development issues. The caravan may include stops at natural or cultural heritage sites, urban centers, local marketplaces, or border crossings.

3. GMS Youth Forum itself, which will take place in parallel to the 5th GMS Summit in Bangkok.

The GMS Youth Forum is the culminating event, and will comprise working sessions, social events, and a photography exhibit. The caravan experience will serve as the springboard for the Youth Forum discussions, and the draft GMS Youth Message will be refined to highlight the participants’ learning experience, and to reflect any comments received from the Summit Task Force. As the finalization of the youth message will be the responsibility of the participants and will reflect the discussions during the national youth consultations, it may address ways in which the youth could be more concretely involved in the GMS Program, or it may include concerns unique to youth. Once finalized, the message will be delivered to the leaders at the Summit. The participants will also discuss and make recommendations as to how the GMS Youth Forum might be institutionalized in the future, for example through the participating universities. Following the Youth Forum, the national participants will conduct the follow up activities that they have outlined in their own countries.

Apply as a Youth Forum representative.


GMS YF2 aims to:

  • encourage GMS youth's active participation in the GMS Program, consistent with its Human Resource Development thrust;
  • draw on the youth's perspectives towards involving them in community building efforts; and
  • enhance the forward-looking dimension of the GMS Program.

Expected outputs

The main results expected from the GMS YF2 are:

  • the possible institutionalization of the GMS Youth Forum, perhaps through universities or other learning institutions or mechanisms;
  • a photography exhibit to showcase young people’s perspectives of community in images from around the region; and
  • a GMS Youth Message that is heard and considered by GMS leaders for possible follow-up. This Youth Forum brings current leaders the opportunity to hear from a group key to the future of the GMS whose position is not well organized and who otherwise is hard to reach.

Target participants

  • Students who have a strong interest in development, regional cooperation, and the areas of the GMS’s focus: transport, energy, telecommunications, environment, human resource development, tourism, trade, private sector investment, and agriculture;
  • Students who have held leadership positions in university or in their personal lives;
  • Students who can communicate effectively with others, both other students and senior government officials.


The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) is a natural economic area bound together by the Mekong River, covering 2.6 million square kilometers and a combined population of around 326 million. The GMS countries are Cambodia, the People's Republic of China (PRC, specifically Yunnan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region), Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam. In 1992, with assistance from ADB, the six countries entered into a program of subregional economic cooperation, designed to enhance economic relations among the countries.

With support from ADB and other donors, the GMS Program helps the implementation of high priority subregional projects in transport, energy, telecommunications, environment, human resource development, tourism, trade, private sector investment, agriculture, and urban development.

The GMS Program is based on continuing consultation and dialogue among GMS member countries. The GMS institutional structure has three levels: the Leaders' Summit; the Ministerial Conference; and the working group and forum in the nine priority sectors.

The Summit is the highest forum in the GMS Economic Cooperation Program that serves as the venue where the GMS Leaders can provide broad directions for landmark or key initiatives under the GMS Program. Summits are normally held every 3 years.