The head of Youth Affairs for the Commonwealth, Katherine Ellis, says young people have much to contribute and they should not be sidelined from the decision making process.
The Commonwealth Pacific Youth Leadership and Integrity Conference is being held in Solomon Islands this week with youth from 14 Pacific countries.
Ms Ellis says youth can bring talents, creativity and drive and this should be embraced.
She says, firstly, their capacity to contribute has to be developed.
"And then it is also about making sure the environments that they are participating in are conducive to their real participation. So that means making sure that the adults in the room are really believing that these young people have something to contribute and not just listening to them in a tokenistic way, and also giving them a platform to contribute at a point where it's going to be meaningful."
The head of Youth Affairs for the Commonwealth, Katherine Ellis.