Press ReleasesYouth Development


The just concluded CARICOM Inter-Agency Meeting on Youth has reported progress towards the creation of an enabling environment for youth development and empowerment in the Community.

The CARICOM Inter-Agency Forum will be working towards developing an integrated regional initiative, bringing together regional and international agencies involved in youth development programming, national Youth Councils and CARICOM Regional Youth Ambassadors into the standing Committee of Directors of Youth Affairs – a regional stakeholder forum which engages in joint programme planning and review and reports to the Council for Human and Social Development.

Thirty representatives of regional and international agencies, non-governmental agencies, Ministries of Youth Affairs and National Youth Councils met in Barbados on May 28 to craft a collaborative network across multiple sectors towards integrating youth development and empowerment, increasing the levels of information sharing, coordination and collaboration among key stakeholders.

In an Aide Memoire released by the delegates, they identified the range of youth development programmes and services delivered by the participating agencies. These include HIV/AIDS, crime and substance abuse prevention and awareness; education, sport and culture; children's rights; employment and micro-enterprise promotion; development administration; public sector reform; and adolescent sexual reproductive health.

The deliberations underpinned the urgency in responding to Athe deepening crisis of Youth@ , and , according to the Aide Memoire, delegates have agreed to Aa deliberate and aggressive strategy of information exchange, advocacy, networking and mutual support that would reduce levels of duplication among key stakeholders; permit more effective allocation of scarce resources; and strengthening the region=s capacity to negotiate for and receive an increased share of resources for youth development@.

CARICOM Secretariat will coordinate initiatives to take the process forward. These will be anchored in the Regional Strategy for Youth Development.

Delegates have also identified a range of immediate priorities to be addressed , among which are data collection and research, institutional strengthening and human resource/leadership development, advocacy and policy support.

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