Decisive action needed for mainstream youth development – CARICOM

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Assistant Secretary-General, Human and Social Development CARICOM, Dr. Douglas Slater said decisive actions at the highest level of governments are necessary to mainstream youth development across all sectors.

Dr. Slater was speaking at the opening ceremony of a three-day Caribbean forum on Youth Population and Development at the Marriot hotel this morning.

The forum has brought together a number of representatives from Caribbean youth and international organisations, civil society and academia.

According to Dr Slater, a coordinated regional mechanism for effective participation and engagement with youth on the many international development frameworks is needed.

“Instabilities in the protective factors of family, school and community make it even more difficult for vulnerable youth in marginalised circumstances to transition successfully to adulthood, especially in a global context where more education and training are required of youth to be competitive and employable,” Dr Slater said.

According to Dr Slater, the importance of developing and implementing robust youth policies and programmes was underscored in a recent seminal report and has provided the Member States, youth and other relevant stakeholders with valuable instruments to advance youth development at both the national and regional levels.

Speaking on the issue of National Youth Policies, Dr. Slater said nineteen of the twenty Members and Associate Members of CARICOM have such policies.

“More work is needed in the Member States in developing monitoring and evaluation frameworks to assess progress towards youth development goals and to ensure those policy decisions are based on evidence. More attention is needed to ensuring policies are gender sensitive and properly funded so they can be more impactful,” the official said.

The CARICOM Youth Development Action Plan (2012 – 2022) is a multisectoral institutional framework to guide national policy, integrated planning and action. It seeks to address the gaps and imperatives for youth development, by articulating six CARICOM Youth Development Goals, as the minimum standards for youth development for which Member States are accountable.

By: Alexis Rodney

Images: Jules Gibson