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CARICOM and stakeholders to host youth forum in Guyana this week

The CARICOM Secretariat is collaborating with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), EU Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, (UNECLAC), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Commonwealth Secretariat and other partners to organise the Caribbean Forum on Population, Youth and Development. The Forum will be held 24 -26 July at the Marriott Hotel in Georgetown, Guyana.  The Forum will bring together senior government officials from the Caribbean in the areas of population, youth and development, representatives of Caribbean youth, international organisations, civil society and academia.

It is expected to contribute to creating synergies between youth policies and broader development frameworks, including the Montevideo Consensus on Population and Development, the SAMOA Pathway, the SDGs as well as sectoral plans at a national level. It will give young people an opportunity to engage directly with public policy-makers and put youth perspectives at the centre of the social policy dialogue. It is anticipated that meeting participants will identify actions to ensure greater attention to youth issues and youth participation, in sectoral policies and international development frameworks.

Programme Manager, Culture and Community Development at the CARICOM Secretariat, Dr. Hilary Brown, says the Forum “promises to be engaging, with a strong representation of youth leaders and advocates, the staging of an inter-generational dialogue and a number of sessions facilitated by young people”. She said it would review the progress of youth development in the Region under three frameworks which include the CARICOM Youth Development Action Plan (2012-2022); the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Lisbon Declaration on Youth Policies and Programmes, and the five-year review and follow-up on the implementation of the Montevideo Consensus on Population and Development.

The Montevideo Consensus on Population and Development addresses a wide range of population issues including ageing, sexual and reproductive rights and migration. This review will help Caribbean Member States in their preparation to participate in a Regional Conference on Population and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean in Peru 7-10 August, 2018.

The Forum will incorporate a Caribbean Youth Dialogue featuring CARICOM Youth Ambassadors (CYAs) and other youth representatives and will advance the establishment of a Caribbean Youth Platform for the Sustainable Development Goals and other regional and international development frameworks for youth. At the end of the Forum, an outcome document will be produced consisting of recommendations to guide the monitoring and evaluation of youth policies and programmes in the Region.

The Forum begins with an opening ceremony on 24 July, 2018, at 9:00am. Minister of Social Cohesion of Guyana, the Hon. Dr. George Norton, Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs, Suriname Her Excellency Lalini Gopaul, and CARICOM Assistant Secretary-General, Human and Social Development, Dr. Douglas Slater, are also among those expected to speak during the ceremony.

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