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29th Parliamentary Session of the World Teen Parliament

The 29th Parliamentary Session of the World Teen Parliament held on 18th May 2024, 8:00 PM, was a remarkable event that brought together a diverse group of young, enthusiastic minds from across the globe. This session was particularly special as it featured Mr Darren Bergman, the Deputy Shadow Minister of Trade, Industry, and Competition from South Africa's Parliament and the Democratic Alliance.

Mr. Bergman, who hails from Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa, brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to the session. His insights into the complex world of trade, industry, and competition provided the young MPs with a broader understanding of global economic dynamics.

During the session, the teen MPs posed several thought-provoking questions to Mr. Bergman.

One of the teen MPs Aditya Rajesh from UAE asked, "What are the future challenges you foresee for South Africa in the global trade environment, and how does it align with India's outlook?" To answer this Mr. Bergman highlighted several key challenges, including the need for South Africa to diversify its trade partnerships and reduce reliance on a few major trading partners. He emphasized the importance of technological advancement and innovation in staying competitive. Additionally, he drew parallels between South Africa and India, noting that both countries need to focus on enhancing their manufacturing sectors and improving trade logistics to boost exports.

Another significant question by MP Ayesha Rafath, India  raised was, "What are some common trade barriers faced by industries, and how does the government address them?" Mr. Bergman explained that industries often encounter tariff and non-tariff barriers, regulatory hurdles, and logistical challenges. He elaborated on how the South African government is working to streamline regulations, reduce red tape, and enhance infrastructure to facilitate smoother trade. He also mentioned ongoing efforts to negotiate favourable trade agreements and partnerships to minimize barriers.

The teens were keen to understand how sustainability could be integrated into industrial practices. One of the teens MP Jude Joe asked the question that even matches the ones submitted by the audience was, "How do you promote sustainability in industrial practices, and what lessons can be learned to implement more sustainable practices? To which Mr. Bergman discussed various initiatives that South Africa is undertaking to promote green industries, such as incentives for renewable energy projects, stricter environmental regulations, and encouraging corporate social responsibility. He also shared examples of successful sustainability practices from around the world that could serve as models for other countries.

The 29th Parliamentary Session of the World Teen Parliament was a testament to the power of youth engagement and the importance of fostering global dialogue on critical issues. Mr. Darren Bergman's participation provided valuable perspectives and inspired the young MPs to think critically about the future of trade, industry, and sustainability.

This session not only allowed teens to gain insights from an experienced politician but also empowered them to ask challenging questions and propose innovative solutions. It highlighted the potential of the World Teen Parliament to shape future leaders who are well-informed and ready to tackle global challenges.

As the session concluded, it was clear that the exchange of ideas had left a lasting impact on all participants, paving the way for continued dialogue and collaboration in future sessions. The World Teen Parliament continues to be a platform where young voices are heard, and future leaders are nurtured.

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