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Speaker names International Youth MP

The Rt Hon Trevor Mallard has today announced his Youth MP for the 2019 Youth Parliament. Mr Rayan Lootah hails from the United Arab Emirates and has been selected in a joint effort with the UAE Minister of State for Youth Affairs, Her Excellency Shamma Al Mazrui.

This new initiative was brought to life after the Speaker met with Her Excellency in Dubai early in 2018, and was inspired by her commitment to creating new opportunities for youth to learn and give back to their communities. Her Excellency Shamma Al Mazrui is the Minister of State for Youth Affairs in the UAE and in February 2016 became the youngest government minister in the world.

The selection of an Emerati Youth is part of an effort to build further relationships with the UAE and to encourage cooperation and learning between the countries through educational and cultural exchange. Mr Rayan Lootah will join the Youth Parliament 2019 programme as the Speakers Youth MP and participate in the full range of activities on offer.

The Speaker said today: “Shared educational opportunities are a key way for us to build lasting connections with other countries. I am pleased that Mr Rayan Abdulla Lootah will join us here in New Zealand for Youth Parliament 2019 and I hope that he will enjoy his experience while here. I also hope that this can lead to further exchanges between the UAE and New Zealand in the future.”

Her Excellency Shamma Al Mazrui said today of the Youth MP appointment: “The UAE is proud to participate in this initiative and also proud to see that New Zealand shares a similar commitment to empowering youth in decision-making. Our policies in the UAE are built on the active participation of young people in decisions and actions at local and national level for a prosperous UAE. We focus on fostering young people’s active citizenship, enhancing the integration of Youth and the inclusion and strengthening of their contribution to the development the UAE.”

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