Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 15, 2015 (SKNIS): Ideas and plans ventilated at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) Youth Forum last month in Malta, will be used to advance the national youth development agenda in St. Kitts and Nevis.
CARICOM Youth Ambassador (CYA) Joy Napier and CYA alternate Trevis Belle participated in the five-day forum held from November 21 to 25, along with 200 youth delegates from 53 Commonwealth States. Topics reviewed included gender equality and woman empowerment, climate change and its impact on peace and security and youth unemployment.
The national delegates also attended the “#WhatNext – Setting the Agenda” workshops featuring interactive panel discussions hosted by experts and youth representatives. These were followed by “Action Plan” sessions where individuals formed working sub-groups to discuss and formulate policies which were presented and voted upon.
Ambassador Napier joined the group called Political Agenda which focused on the importance of combating various forms of violence through political and legislative action. “Given the serious issue of youth violence that faces our nation of St. Kitts and Nevis, I felt that it was of great importance to be a part of this agenda,” she said.
There were three overarching issues considered: Violent Extremism and the Radicalization of Youth; Gender-based Violence which included sexual abuse and female genital mutilation; and the protection and promotion of human rights.
Ambassador Belle joined the review of the Environmental Agenda. Topics covered included: Disaster Risk Reduction, Resilience and Recovery; Protection of Natural Resources; and Climate Change. Belle said that special emphasis was placed on networking between Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to exchange information and best practices in preparation for various environmental issues and mitigation.
Since their return to St. Kitts and Nevis, the youth ambassadors have reported the outcomes of the meeting to the Department of Youth Empowerment and plan to share related information and material with the St. Kitts National Youth Parliament Association (SKNYPA), Nevis Youth Council and other related organizations and individuals. Additionally, Napier and Belle have committed to be a conduit to communicate Commonwealth youth related agenda programmes and opportunities to the local population.