(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) CARICOM Youth Ambassadors Tamira Browne (St. Vincent and the Grenadines), Patrice Harris (St. Kitts and Nevis) and Jamonn Roberts (Barbados) returned from the International Youth Forum Seliger 2013 held in Russia from the 21st – 28th July, 2013. The Forum had representation from 130 countries and mobilised 3000 participants.
During the Forum, the Ambassadors were meaningfully engaged on issues relating to politics and international relations, innovation and enterprise, growth and sustainable development and creative media and public relations which are all relevant in the development of CARICOM Member States.
The Ambassadors expressed that these four (4) pillars are extremely important. In terms of politics and international relations the Ambassadors stated their awareness of several global shifts taking place worldwide and noted the need for CARICOM Member States to respond to those shifts effectively. In addition, the Ambassadors also highlighted that innovation and enterprise become extremely important as youth unemployment in the Region was too high. Thirdly, the Ambassadors emphasised that regional stakeholders must realise value in efforts towards increasing regional productivity and utilising our resources more efficiently as this would lead to increased growth and sustainability.
Jamonn Roberts participated in educational sessions geared towards creative media and public relations in an effort to more capably market the work of youth organisations locally and regionally as well as to more ably package the messages of regional integration and other youth related issues to various audiences. Roberts believes that we must be able to capture the interests of our youth through creative media and public relations.
In addition to the educational workshops offered on the said themes, Browne and Harris participated in the Interseliger Model United Nations 2013. Both participants were highly commended by the organisers for their exceptional levels of knowledge and research. As a result, the two (2) female Ambassadors have been invited to participate at the Moscow International Model UN in April 2014. In the Model UN, Browne represented CARICOM Member State Haiti while Harris presented on behalf of the African state Gabon. The presentations were related to whether euthanasia should be legalised and innovative financing methods throughout the world. The young Ambassadors also participated in the Interseliger Model World Trade Organisation (WTO) discussions.
Together, both Browne and Harris aspire to work in developing a similar model for youth regionally as they believe that such a Forum would empower youth to speak on and address issues that are affecting their countries. One of the main outcomes would be to foster an active social position among young people regionally which would help to strengthen the social consciousness among our youth.
In addition, the Forum presented an opportunity for the Ambassadors to share CARICOM booklets and brochures with youth representing other international organisations. This action encouraged the development of meaningful partnerships for the execution of projects and other initiatives as the hope is to identify opportunities for growth and development within CARICOM Member States as well as the international sphere.
Together the Youth Ambassadors are compiling a network of the various organisations and are also preparing project proposals that would build the capacity of regional youth through the utilisation of their increased competences and networks.
The Ambassadors express their gratitude to the CARICOM Secretariat (Youth Desk), the United Nations Development Programme and the various Ministries of Youth for their support in allowing them to attend the International Youth Forum Seliger 2013.