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Sep 30, 2016

Regional Youth Conference Concludes in Belize

Today, the Caribbean Youth Leaders Summit officially came to a close. The theme for the summit was From Rhetoric to Action Agenda 2030.  Were the dynamic youths able to achieve their goal? News Five’s Andrea Polanco was at the Radisson today for the closing of the Summit and files this report.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The fourth Caribbean Youth Leaders Summit ended today in Belize City. Young people from across the region participated in several workshops geared at mapping the way forward to address some of the pressing issues that young people face in the Caribbean.


Tijani Christian

Tijani Christian, Chair, 4th Caribbean Youth Leaders Summit

“The inclusion of youth in development processes is critical in order to advance towards more egalitarian societies and it is one of the most urgent challenges facing Caribbean societies today. People, age between fifteen and twenty-nine, represents more than half of the region’s total population. In most countries, a large portion of this population is extremely excluded and marginalized from the political, economic and social processes that are taking place due to the mass social and economic inequalities that are prevalent in the region. This exclusion not only prevents Caribbean youths from enjoying their rights, it also leads to fragmented and polarized societies to increases in inequality and it generates tension that are manifested at the individual, family, community and societal level. Moreover, the invisibility and exclusion of youth are factors that are associated with the high level of violence that exists in several countries in this region.”


Minister Elodio Aragon says that this meeting of the young minds provides another opportunity for his ministry to continue to work with young people locally and regionally to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.


Elodio Aragon

Elodio Aragon, Minister of State, Culture, Youth& Sports

“If you look at the sustainable development goals, you find that a lot of our policies that have already been established, has implemented or has taken into effect the sustainable development goals. You have our national sports policy, you have our youth policy and you also have developmental policies that basically brings in the SDGs. And I do think that it gives us opportunity to encompass the things that are important to young people. And I think from climate change to their involvement with leadership roles and other things that will ensure that our youths get the opportunities that they deserve to become future leaders of their countries.”


And to achieve that, the delegates formally created a regional network to tap into the strength of their numbers:


Tijani Christian

“One of the major outcomes of the summit after all of this training was that yesterday we formalize the formation of what we call the Caribbean Youth Regional Alliance, CYRA, where all the youth leaders across the region can have a stronger network together; that we can collaborate and move forward the 2030 agenda. What we have recognized is that we cannot do it alone. One country cannot do it, one youth group cannot do it, but together we are strong. Together we are more than half the population of the Caribbean.”


Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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