Press release 481/2011
(16 December 2011)



(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ambassador Irwin LaRocque deemed the Surinamese Youth programmes as a regional Best Practice.

On the second day of his official visit to Suriname, the Secretary-General was brought up to date on the activities and plans of Surinamese youth and was particularly impressed by the exciting programmes outlined to him by the CARICOM Youth Ambassadors (CYA) at a meeting in Paramaribo on Tuesday 13 December.

Representatives of various Suriname youth organisations met with the Secretary-General and shared with him their thoughts and views on the Community and their role in it. CYAs Raynel Fraser and Abigail Misdjan told Ambassador LaRocque and his delegation of the various initiatives under way before the wider representation, including the highest body, the National Youth Parliament, exchanged views with the Secretary-General.

The CYAs indicated that they had established several committees at the national and local level to pursue activities in a variety of disciplines including Health (HIV/AIDS), Sport, the Environment and the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). Secretary-General LaRocque urged the Surinamese to share their programmes with other CYAs in the Community.

Earlier in the day, Ambassador LaRocque met with some of the Surinamese students who had participated in an European Union (EU) sponsored CARICOM project which allowed students from across the Community to visit other Member States to observe the operations of the CSME. He also met with representatives of the Media and visited the Caribbean Regional Information and Translation Institute (CRITI), an organisation established under Caribbean Forum of African Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM) of which Ambassador LaRocque is also Secretary-General.

A constant thread in the discussions with the youth was the need for support for entrepreneurial ventures and also opportunities under the free movement of skilled nationals. The issue of language challenges was also raised particularly in the context of the fact that 22 languages and dialects are spoken in Suriname.


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