St. Lucia News Online:
The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) subregional headquarters for the Caribbean has called on decision makers to create a subregional mechanism to facilitate the participation, engagement and collaboration of youth in development frameworks.
This was one of the issues discussed at the Caribbean Forum on Population, Youth and Development during which senior government officials, youth experts and youth representatives agreed on priority actions to advance the regional youth development agenda.
“The integration of youth into development processes is a crucial step in the process towards more egalitarian societies”, underscored Diane Quarless, Director of ECLAC Caribbean, in her opening remarks.
Lack of youth development in general, and youth unemployment in particular, have become growing concerns for Caribbean countries, with levels of youth unemployment over the last decade remaining higher than before the 2008 financial crisis. Young people are also more likely to live in poverty compared with older adults, and more likely to become victims of violence.
These and other pressing issues for youth development were discussed at the Caribbean Forum on Population, Youth and Development, held from 24 to 26 July 2018 in Georgetown, Guyana. The forum provided a platform for policy-makers, researchers, government officials, youth, and development partners from 29 Caribbean countries that are Members or Associate Members of the Caribbean Development and Cooperation Committee (CDCC) to address priorities for youth development. The forum identified practical solutions to support the implementation of youth policies and programmes, and the involvement of Youth in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and in other regional and national development processes.
The outcome document of the forum will present recommendations to promote youth participation, and will constitute the Caribbean member States’ input to the regional review and appraisal of the Montevideo Consensus on Population and Development, to be discussed at the Regional Conference on Population and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean in Lima, Peru from 7 to 9 August 2018. Many of the issues that the Montevideo Consensus deals with have a particular relevance to adolescents and youth, including poverty, unemployment and violence as well as sexual and reproductive health, migration and human rights.
The Caribbean Forum on Population, Youth and Development was jointly convened by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the Caribbean Community Secretariat (CARICOM), the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and The Commonwealth Secretariat, in partnership with the Governments of Guyana and Suriname, and in close collaboration with regional youth organizations – the CARICOM Youth Ambassador Corps (CYAs), the Caribbean Regional Youth Council (CRYC) and the University of the West Indies’ Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow (UWI STAT).