Trinidad and Tobago says it recognizes the need to further develop the current international framework on youth
In light of the new challenges affecting youth, Trinidad and Tobago says it recognizes the need to further develop and improve the current international framework on youth.
Trinidad and Tobago's representative Ambassador Rodney Charles told a high-level meeting on youth that his country has developed a National Youth Policy in recognition of the importance of young people to community and national development.
Charles: This policy reflects a flexible and dynamic social development process between the government and civil society, from which various national programs and activities materialise. These relate to, inter alia, education; health; gender equality; addressing youth crime and violence, including drug related crime; youth unemployment and youth leadership development. The National Youth Policy promotes youth empowerment and participation, placing youth at the forefront of policy development and implementation. At the same time, it recognizes the government's responsibility to create the necessary facilitative framework to ensure that young people can make informed choices; lead meaningful, productive, enjoyable lives; and contribute to the attainment of the Internationally Agreed Development Goals, including the Millennium Development Goals, as well as to the sustainable development of our nation. Further, it is noteworthy that the portfolio for youth-related affairs is now under the purview of the newly created Ministry of Gender, Youth and Child Development.
NAR: Ambassador Charles noted that in commemoration of this International Year of Youth with the theme "Dialogue and Mutual Understanding", and based on the approach adopted by the United Nations system, Trinidad and Tobago has implemented a number of initiatives.
Charles: One significant initiative was the launch of the National Youth Consultation program in which youth were provided with the opportunity to be included in the decision-making process through participating in consultations with government ministers. As youth are key partners in the development and advancement of our societies, it is imperative to promote dialogue between governments and young people to foster mutual understanding and to better address the issues affecting them. The Government of Trinidad and Tobago therefore increased youth participation and partnerships within communities by developing their capacities to dialogue wit their peers and relevant stakeholders. The Government also facilitated youth development through national leadership training programmes, peer education workshops and community social projects which harnessed discussion with young people in relation to the design and implementation of programmes to meet the needs of their peers.
NAR: Ambassador Charles said the time has come to move beyond dialogue to implementation.
This is Donn Bobb reporting.