New Youth Assembly meets in Parliament Buildings for the first time

Session: Session currently unavailable

Date: 02 December 2023

Reference: SO 02/23/24

On Saturday 02 December, 90 young people from across Northern Ireland came together for the inaugural sitting of the second Northern Ireland Youth Assembly.

The Youth Assembly was founded in April 2021 and today’s sitting welcomed the new Members and signalled the official start of the 2023-2025 Youth Assembly mandate.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s sitting, the Assembly Speaker Alex Maskey said: “I am delighted to see our second intake of Youth Assembly Members attend their first sitting in Parliament Buildings. Having worked closely with the inaugural Youth Assembly, I have observed first-hand the importance and benefits of giving a voice to young people.

“I am also pleased that Members of the inaugural 2021-2023 Youth Assembly came along to Saturday’s meeting. They have been a great example of the importance of giving young people their say and made a number of important recommendations on issues such as climate change, mental health and the rights of children and young people. It is crucial that they have the opportunity to interact with the new Members and to discuss their experiences as Members of the inaugural Youth Assembly”.

During their two-year term, Youth Assembly Members will meet regularly in Parliament Buildings, in meetings chaired by the Assembly Speaker. They will also participate in smaller committee meetings to discuss their ideas, views and recommendations in greater detail.  

Youth Assembly Members will also be offered a range of training and support. This will include learning about how the Assembly works, making presentations, conducting research and talking to experts about issues of concern.

The Speaker concluded: “As always, I am inspired by the knowledge, enthusiasm and dedication displayed by our local young people. This first sitting is no exception and I’m looking forward to seeing our new Members develop their ideas and plans for this important second mandate of the Youth Assembly.

“In the coming months, they will continue to meet to discuss and flesh out the areas that they wish to focus on and will begin the process of forming Committees, as well as contributing to and driving forward their programme of work and activities. I have no doubt that these bright and dedicated young people will make the second Youth Assembly a resounding success”. 

The Youth Assembly sitting was presided over by Assembly Commission Member, John Blair MLA.


Notes to Editors

  • The application process for the Youth Assembly opened on Monday 25 September and closed at 5pm on Monday 16 October 2023.
  • The selection process was co-designed with young people to ensure that it is as open and fair as possible. 90 Members were selected at random to ensure that young people from all constituencies, Section 75 groups and other communities are represented. 
  • The Youth Assembly Members are young people currently in School Years 9 -12.
  • It is envisaged that the Youth Assembly will have at least two plenary sittings a year and have up to four Committees, which will meet more regularly.
  • The plenary sittings will take place in Parliament Buildings and will be presided over by the Speaker in the Assembly Chamber.
  • The Committees of the Youth Assembly may also meet in Parliament Buildings, but it is expected that they will also meet in other locations, including virtually.
  • Comprehensive safeguarding measures and protections will be put in place, including training and support for the members of the Youth Assembly and all those working with them.
  • Find out more by following the Northern Ireland Youth Assembly on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. 

For media queries please contact:

Sinead Murphy

The Communications Office

Northern Ireland Assembly

Mobile: 0789 9864 368


Find MLAs

Find your MLAs

Locate MLAs


News and Media Centre

Visit the News and Media Centre

Read press releases, watch live and archived video

Find out more

Follow the Assembly

Follow the Assembly on our social media channels

Keep up-to-date with the Assembly

Find out more

Useful Contacts

Contact us

Contacts for different parts of the Assembly

Contact Us