London, 28 January 2014 - Senior government officials from Commonwealth countries in the Caribbean are to meet in Georgetown, Guyana, on Wednesday, 29 January 2014 to review their priorities for youth development.
The Senior Officials Meeting, convened by the Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP), will be opened by Dr Frank Anthony, Guyana’s Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport.
The meeting follows last year’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka, at which leaders vowed to put young people at the heart of policymaking for sustainable development.
The resulting Magampura Commitment to Young People focused on renewing efforts to develop and empower young people, and on tackling problems identified by young people, including joblessness and lack of meaningful voice.
Katherine Ellis, Director of Youth Affairs at the Commonwealth, said: “This generation can make an enormous contribution to national development, with the right prioritisation and investment. It is essential that their voices are heard and that government decision-makers have the right policy tools available to them. By sharing national experiences and working collaboratively, policy-makers will be putting the commitments of their leaders into action.
“The meeting also takes place at a time when the Commonwealth Youth Programme is undergoing a period of renewal, which will result in a new operating model. The CYP will continue to be a driving force in the youth development sector, including supporting governments and youth-led organisations in policy-making and programming.”
Senior officials in Georgetown will discuss their national priorities and collaborative opportunities with the Commonwealth Youth Programme. They will also begin planning the agenda for a Regional Youth Ministers’ Meeting, to be held in early 2015.
Participants will in addition discuss progress on the outcomes of the 8th Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting held in Papua New Guinea in April 2013, as well as the 9th Commonwealth Youth Forum, which preceded CHOGM, in Sri Lanka in November 2013. At the Youth Forum, delegates called on governments to focus on youth employment, fit-for-purpose education, sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender equality, and the professionalisation of youth work.
Notes to Editors:
Photos of the event will be available to download from Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/comsec/ and the Commonwealth’s Digital Library free of charge. Please register online at http://assets.thecommonwealth.org/
Representatives at the Senior Officials Meeting in Georgetown come from Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos Islands. The Chair of the Caribbean Regional Youth Council and the Commonwealth Youth Council’s Caribbean representative will also be in attendance.
The Commonwealth is a diverse bloc of 53 states, including 31 small and vulnerable countries many of which are island nations. The community is home to 2.2 billion citizens, of which over 60% are under the age of 30.
The Commonwealth Youth Programme assists member governments in the development of programmes for the empowerment of young women and men aged 15–29.
Read the Magampura Commitment to Young People by Commonwealth Heads of Government:
Read the Declaration by the young people of the Commonwealth, issued at the Commonwealth Youth Forum:
Read the Communiqué from the 8th Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting: