Press ReleasesYouth Development


His Excellency Runaldo R. Venetiaan, President of Suriname, is expected to give the opening remarks and declare open the CARICOM Regional Youth Ambassadors Training/Strategic Planning Workshop to be held from Monday 19 August to Wednesday 28 August 2002, at the Krasnapolsky Hotel, Paramaribo.

The workshop, to be held under the theme, “HIV/AIDS, Human Capacity and Sustainable Development – the Challenge for Youth Empowerment” is meant to increase the region's pool of leadership resources, harness youth asset to deepen integration and the development process, review the regional and global context for sustainable development and make effective utilization of financial and other resources available for HIV/AIDS.

The new group of Regional Ambassadors will be the second set since the reactivation of this peer-leadership initiative in July 2000. A total of thirteen Member States have already named their new youth ambassadors to follow-on the goodwill mission for youth empowerment in the regional integration process, which was started by their predecessors.

Prior to the workshop, the young leaders will be expected to arm themselves with necessary background information from their respective Member States on the various themes to inform the strategic planning component of the workshop.

The young leaders will take their oath of office in an induction ceremony also scheduled for Monday 19 August as part of the Opening Ceremony of the Regional Training Workshop in Paramaribo.

The CARICOM Regional Youth Ambassadors initiative is one method of integrating the ideas of young persons into the regional integration process and is expected to promote good Caribbean citizenry, and a more transparent approach for governance in the Region. The Programme had its inaugural launch in St Lucia on 4 July 1993, as part of the twentieth anniversary of CARICOM. After evaluation in 1995, the programme took on board recommendations and experiences coming out of its earlier efforts, and drew on these references to design and implement its work-programme.

The ten-day workshop will be co-sponsored by some leading regional and international agencies including the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre (CAREC), and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF). Suriname Airways, the national carrier of Suriname, has offered a special concession on tickets to participants and will airlift the 32 young leaders out of Piarco International Airport on Sunday 18 August, 2002 via Guyana into the capital, Paramaribo.

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