Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Delegates pushing for inter-regional SIDS Youth Network

Youth delegates in attendance at the recently held three-day Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Conference held at the Hilton Barbados Hotel, are desirous of setting up an inter-regional SIDS Youth Network to continue to lobby for some of the recommendations they have put forward to decision-makers, on behalf of youth in their regions.

The youth delegates represent youth from across three SIDS regions – the Caribbean, the Pacific and the AIMS (Atlantic, Indian, Mediterranean and South China Seas). The nine youth representatives from Maldives, Comoros, Mauritius, Samoa, Fiji Islands, Dominica and Barbados, were selected from 70 youth participants from 30 SIDS countries, to share at the Inter-regional Preparatory Meeting in Barbados.

“We, the delegates from the three SIDS regions representing the voices of young people from SIDS, have a vision: a self-sustaining, climate resilient, peaceful, healthy, inclusive, democratic and transparent society, where all young people are empowered as equal partners in global efforts for sustainable development,” the delegates noted.

“We endorse and support the comments by the Honourable Freundel Stuart, Prime Minister of Barbados, with respect to the inclusion of youth specific recommendations in the Outcomes Document of this Meeting,” they stressed.

“Moreover, we have facilitated dialogue and have identified six areas as being critical to the livelihoods of youth, considering the diversity among us, yet acknowledging our common vulnerabilities. These six areas are: Good Governance and Youth Participation; Health; Climate Change and Biodiversity; Water; Education, Entrepre-neurship and Employ-ment and also Science and Technology,” they added.

“We the SIDS Youth commit to setting up an inter-regional SIDS Youth Network and request the support and collaboration from UN Agencies, regional agencies and other key stakeholders. This network will provide a platform for youth of the three SIDS regions to collaborate on strategies and projects and be effective advocates for SIDS within international processes related to sustainable development,” the delegates pledged.

Such a network is needed they indicated, to ensure that their recommendations do not fall by the wayside and so the youth can further work together to bring about change in their three SIDS regions.

Alex Cumberbatch is the SIDS Youth Representative for Barbados and the rest of the SIDS team is as follows: Rihanna Gonsalves from Trinidad and Tobago, Rishtha Ali from Maldives, Emily Erasito of Fiji, Jahisiah Benoit of Dominica, Brianna Fruean of Samoa, Rochelle Lashley from Barbados, Karuna Runa of Mauritius and Ben Anthoy Bacar Moussa of Comoros. (RSM)

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