MINISTER for Youth and Sports Commander Viliame Naupoto says the National Youth and Sports Conference has given youths a chance to see things through the eyes of their peers.
The conference gave youths from all over the country a chance to hear differing viewpoints on issues.
"The beautiful thing in my view in the conference is that it has allowed our young people to come in and speak about the real issues that will affect them in the future," Cdr Naupoto said.
Using the example of climate change, Cdr Naupoto explained that youths from areas unaffected by rising sea levels were able to hear the concerns of those from low lying islands.
"When we talk about climate change, coastal degradation and rising sea levels, for our young people in the highlands, in the interior, for them it may not be something that they are worried about.
"But here, they have an opportunity to speak with young people who come from the very small islands in the Lau group and hear their concerns."
He said the youths were also able to learn about how natural phenomenon such as climate change, though not directly felt, had the power to impact their communities over time.
"So it has been great in that sense in that exchange of ideas between youths from different areas, because some of, if not all, these topics discussed here today impact them very differently," Cdr Naupoto said.
The youths at the conference also learnt what aspects made skilled leaders, hearing from non formal education consultant Dr Joseph Veramu on how the sheer numbers of youths made them key cogs in the development process.
He commented upon the findings of the 2007 census, which revealed 54.25 per cent of the population fall in the age range of 0-35 years forming over half of Fiji's population.