Ms. Chantal Vanderberg, Sales Associate at the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC), attended the Young Leaders Dialogue on Human Rights and Good Governance from October 8 to 10, in Nadi, Fiji. Ms. Vanderberg was one of five young Palauans who attended this dialogue. They were funded by the Pacific Commonwealth Equality Project, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Embassy of Sweden in Bangkok.

According to the Pacific Community, organizers of the event, the purpose of the dialogue was to “strengthen engagement with national and regional leaders and development partners to promote and uphold the principles of good governance; discuss good governance issues, challenges, best practices, and sustainable solutions to youth development; and strengthen networks and relationships between young people to advance youth in governance.”

Ms. Vanderberg stressed two important things she got from the workshop, “First, working with the government is key and one way our voices can be heard is by having good communication with them, which will help improve engagement. Secondly, working with the community for effective community outreach is important. I think it is important to work with stakeholders, the government and the community. For the community, we need to be inclusive, enabling them to have a voice, and the government can make a final decision based on this. This youth development forum is helping us tackle issues that affect us.”  Ms. Vanderberg hopes that her experience can help the young leaders of Palau as they deal with issues of human rights and good governance.