LONDON, England -- Senior government officials from Commonwealth countries in the Caribbean are to meet in Georgetown, Guyana, on Wednesday to review their priorities for youth development.
The senior officials meeting, convened by the Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP), will be opened by Dr Frank Anthony, Guyana’s minister of culture, youth and sport.
The meeting follows last year’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka, at which leaders vowed to put young people at the heart of policymaking for sustainable development.
The resulting Magampura Commitment to Young People focused on renewing efforts to develop and empower young people, and on tackling problems identified by young people, including joblessness and lack of meaningful voice.
Katherine Ellis, director of youth affairs at the Commonwealth, said: “This generation can make an enormous contribution to national development, with the right prioritisation and investment. It is essential that their voices are heard and that government decision-makers have the right policy tools available to them. By sharing national experiences and working collaboratively, policy-makers will be putting the commitments of their leaders into action.
“The meeting also takes place at a time when the Commonwealth Youth Programme is undergoing a period of renewal, which will result in a new operating model. The CYP will continue to be a driving force in the youth development sector, including supporting governments and youth-led organisations in policy-making and programming.”
Senior officials in Georgetown will discuss their national priorities and collaborative opportunities with the Commonwealth Youth Programme. They will also begin planning the agenda for a regional youth ministers’ meeting, to be held in early 2015.
Participants will in addition discuss progress on the outcomes of the 8th Commonwealth youth ministers meeting held in Papua New Guinea in April 2013, as well as the 9th Commonwealth Youth Forum, which preceded CHOGM, in Sri Lanka in November 2013. At the Youth Forum, delegates called on governments to focus on youth employment, fit-for-purpose education, sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender equality, and the professionalisation of youth work.