The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is moving closer to having an inter-sectoral agenda for youth in the regional integration movement. A draft regional strategy for youth development, which is intended to engage them in promoting their own cause headlines the agenda for a meeting of CARICOM Directors of Youth scheduled for 7-9 May in Trinidad and Tobago.
The Port-of-Spain meeting is expected to, among other things, take action that will lead towards implementation of the draft regional strategy.
The Youth Directors will examine issues relating to Institutional and Human Resource capacity; Technical Cooperation Exchange Youth Network; Communication and Information Strategies; Regional Research Agenda; and Youth Participation and Representation.
National Youth Parliaments and the establishment of a comprehensive training programme for the Regional Youth Ambassadors are part of the institutional development plans which the Youth Directors are expected to discuss. Additionally, they will focus on initiatives to address the social and economic needs of vulnerable and marginalised youth.
The development of the draft Regional Strategy for Youth Development comes out of the policy guidelines and regional priorities issued at the October 2000 Meetings of the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD), and the First Special Meeting of Ministers of Youth.
The Strategic Plan also incorporates youth perspectives which were highlighted at Caribbean Youth Explosion,1998 and 2000, and the Caribbean Youth Assembly of Caribbean Community Parliamentarians, 1998 and 2000. The Plan is aimed at addressing equity, inclusion and social justice. Additionally, it seeks to respond to the call by the youth for them to promote their own development and solve their own problems, while making significant contributions to society.
The Regional Strategy for Youth Development is intended to addresses seven priority areas: Research and Development; Institutional Strengthening; Youth Participation (Goodwill Ambassador Programmes, Structures and Representation); Youth Employment; Building Youth Capital; Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health; and Human Resource Development.