Assistant Secretary-General, Human and Social Development at the CARICOM Secretariat, Dr. Douglas Slater, has implored Directors of Youth across the Region not to disappoint the youth. He was speaking at the opening ceremony of the Eighth Meeting of the Directors of Youth Affairs hosted at the CARICOM Secretariat on Wednesday.
Dr. Slater made reference to a recently concluded youth forum where he said the enthusiasm of the youth was demonstrated.
I think everybody feels very satisfied that the youth forum was successful. We saw the enthusiasm of the youth participants and we cannot disappoint them,” Dr. Slater said.
He told the youth directors he hoped they would brief their ministers and other relevant staff members in an assertive and proactive manner. He said it was also very important for them to communicate effectively so that better could be delivered for the youth.
The Assistant Secretary-General also spoke about culture and the role of the Region’s youth in that regard. He noted that the CARICOM Strategic Plan had recognised the role of youth in building social and economic resilience. He said many of the cultural aspects of the Region were driven by the youth, and as such, cultural activities needed to be made more economically viable. He noted that the CARICOM Heads of Government had recognised the importance of utilising creative skills especially among the youth.
In closing, Dr. Slater reminded the Directors of Youth Affairs that they had an important task in guiding the youth and in the development of the Region.
Dean of the CARICOM Youth Ambassadors (CYAs), Dennis McCall, of St. Kitts and Nevis, implored the Directors of Youth to include their CYAs in meetings such as the Directors of Youth Meeting so that they could be more informed and involved in the process. He also encouraged them to develop a strong relationship with their CYAs.
I want you to be your CYA’s best friend because we are working towards the same goal and that’s helping young people throughout the entire Region,” he said.
Chairman of the Meeting and Director for Sport and Youth Affairs, Saint Lucia, Mr. Jim Xavier, in his remarks, said there was a lot to be done and appealed to the Directors to participate fully.
We are a long way from where we want to be if we are to change the face of the Caribbean and get the sort of impact that we need,” he said.
The meeting of the Directors of Youth Affairs will feed into the Twenty-Ninth Meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development (Youth and Culture) scheduled for 3-4 March, 2016, at the CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Guyana.