There is a push for youths of the CARICOM region to be given more attention and for systems to be put in place to ensure their development and their involvement in decision-making.
Outgoing Chairman of CARICOM, Prime Minister of the Bahamas Perry Christie told the opening of the CARICOM Heads of Government meeting in Barbados that leaders of the region should not ignore the concerns of youths and should ensure they are consulted on major issues and be involved in the process.
Prime Minister Christie warned leaders that if they ignore youths of the region, it will be at their own peril.
“It is our responsibility to ensure that they get a good education and become part of the formal economies of our country and become beneficiaries of the practice of social mobility, equity and fairness.”
He said programmes must be developed in the region to raise the education attainment of young people in all of the Caribbean. The Prime Minister challenged the regional educators to find new and innovative ways to meet the needs of every child in the region.
According to Christie, “each of us and all of us know and we re commit ourselves to every child counts and not one should be left behind”
The Bahamian Prime Minister said while the region focuses on the education of its youths, it must also focus on job creation for them.
He made reference of the recent decision in The Bahamas by a major investor to file for bankruptcy as he nears the completion of a major hotel project. He said more than 2000 young people now stand to lose their jobs as a result of that decision.
The Prime Minister made it clear that the region cannot afford to fail its young people.
CARICOM currently has a Youth Ambassador Programme in place but there are still calls for more meaningful involvement.
Coverage of the CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting in Barbados compliments of LIAT Airlines and the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company.
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