YOUTHS have been urged to stand up and be counted in the running of the country.
And they have also been urged not to allow themselves to be fooled by anyone making empty promises.
The request was made by the National Federation Party's National Youth Steering Committee representative Ravikant Singh.
Mr Singh told the party's 50th anniversary celebration in Nadi that its record of inducting youth leaders in public life and in politics remain unparalleled.
"This speaks volumes about NFP's commitment to ensuring the constructive and credible involvement of youth in politics.
"But like our predecessors, those of us aspiring for political recognition must remember that this will not be handed to us on a silver platter.
"All of us have to earn our stripes to seek recognition and confidence of our leaders.
"As youths, we cannot afford to criticise from afar and resort to maligning seasoned politicians in our bid for equal status. Now, more than ever before, we need the guidance of our seniors."
Mr Singh said to gain this recognition and earn the respect, youths had to play their role in appraising themselves with the political realities on the national landscape and in turn, inculcating this in other people.
He said as responsible citizens, youths should be concerned about events unfolding around them, adding that failure to do would only set the foundation for a bleak future for the present and future generations.
"The painful reality is that we do not know what the future holds for us as we wake up each morning. We may appear to be full of joy and happiness but are we genuinely happy?"
Mr Singh said Fiji needed leaders who were bold, honest and had the ability and credibility to tackle problems.