Decisive action at highest level of government needed to mainstream youth development – ASG Slater
Decisive action at the highest level of government is necessary to mainstream youth development. That was the opinion shared by Assistant Secretary General (ASG), Human and Social Development at the CARICOM Secretariat Dr. Douglas Slater at the opening of the Caribbean Forum on Youth Population and Development. The forum is being held at the Marriott Hotel in Georgetown, Guyana, July 24-26, 2018.
Dr. Slater said the forum provided an opportunity to take stock of progress towards the implementation of the commitments under the Lisbon Declaration on Youth Policies and Programmes, 20 years after its adoption in 1998, and the Montevideo Consensus, five years after adoption.
According to the ASG, it was an imperative to maximise the youth demographic dividend, especially in the context of a region which was ageing. He opined that Departments of Youth Affairs and national and regional youth governance structures also needed to be strengthened.
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“We also need to devise a coordinated regional mechanism for more effective participation and engagement with youth”, he said.
He said the hosting of the forum was as a result of a successful partnership among CARICOM, UNECLAC, the Caribbean Development Bank, UNFPA, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Governments of Guyana and Suriname, and several youth organisations, including the Caribbean Regional Youth Council, the CARICOM Youth Ambassador Corps, UWI STAT Vice Chancellor’s Ambassador Corps, UNFPA Youth Advisory Group and the Commonwealth Youth Council.
He thanked the partners, for their generosity in providing technical and financial support for the Forum as well as their contributions towards preparing for it. He said that online Youth Dialogues over the past three months were a major feature of the preparations, which ensured that the youth voice was heard in the review process. The dialogue involved young people from 24 countries, who made strong recommendations on how to strengthen youth policies and programmes for the benefit of youth in the region. He said this was consistent with the spirit and commitment of the Lisbon Declaration, to ensuring active youth participation in decision-making processes at all levels, and in keeping with the World Programme of Action for Youth which preceded Lisbon.