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In Youth Day message: CYAs emphasise sustainable development, poverty elimination

Posted in: Press Releases | 12 August 2016 | 2386

    Today is being celebrated as International Youth Day!

    In a message to commemorate the day the CARICOM Youth Ambassadors have emphasised the significance of sustainable development and the importance of collaborative efforts to eliminate poverty. Please see the CYAs’ message below.

    CYA logo

    The CARICOM Youth Ambassadors (CYA) Corps is dedicated to addressing the many social issues affecting the Caribbean youth today. Our primary vision seeks to galvanise and sustain a movement which promotes advocacy, and educates young persons about the CARICOM Youth Development Goals: Education and Economic Empowerment; Health and Wellbeing; Protection, Safety and Security; Culture, Identity and Citizenship; Policy and Institutional Framework and Leadership, Participation and Governance. The current economic climate, however, poses a significant challenge in addressing poverty and its effects on other areas of development in the region.

    The CYA Corps is therefore heartened at the theme of this year’s International Youth Day ‘The Road to 2030: Eradicating Poverty and Achieving Sustainable Consumption and Production’. We support this theme wholeheartedly. As the primary promoter of CARICOM Youth Development Goals and a key advocate for Regional Integration, we hope to help with strengthening and implementing the plans of the CARICOM Secretariat in keeping with its vision for sustainable growth and regional development.

    The CARICOM Youth Ambassadors fully endorse the Community’s Strategic Plan which identifies building competitiveness and unleashing key economic drivers to transition to growth and generate employment; as well as Human Capital Development as two of its high-priority areas. We pledge our support in bringing greater focus to these priority areas especially since they have a close link to the reduction of poverty within our region.

    Throughout the years, the CYA Corp has demonstrated a willingness to make a meaningful contribution to improving the Region’s economic standing by instigating and engaging in conversations while leading in the address of “action plans” that can be implemented to positively impact the youth of this era and those of the future. In every participating country, the local CYAs undertake educational and training programs, seminars, advocacy movements and other sustainable development projects. More recently, a number of CARICOM Youth Ambassadors have been working with the Government Youth Offices to reconstruct and/or refurbish their National Youth Policy. The policies to be adopted will include strategies aimed at eradicating poverty, ensuring that society and the youth in general are provided with basic fundamental resources such as employment, education and health that will protect them from risks, both economically and socially.


    To echo the sentiments of Nelson Mandela who said in February 2005 at the Campaign to end poverty in London’s Trafalgar Square, “Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life. While poverty persists, there is no true freedom. Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom. Of course the task will not be easy. But not to do this would be a crime against humanity, against which I ask all humanity now to rise up. Do not look the other way; do not hesitate to recognise that the world is hungry, not for words but for action, act with courage, act with vision”. We need to harmonise our efforts to consistently and effectively empower and educate our young people.

    It is for this reason that we are petitioning to you, the people of the Region, for your support in energising a platform from which CARICOM, your local government and all CYAs can coordinate and trigger opportunities that promote development and eradicate poverty. As an indispensable majority, your ideas, contributions and feedback are critical to the success of all plans and actions geared towards eliminating our social challenges, especially poverty. The CYA Corps is therefore inviting and challenging everyone in the Region and the world; the different organisations and heads; the homes and the schools and the youth, to contribute towards ensuring that we bear fruits on the theme on International Youth Day 2016. To all the CARICOM Youth, Happy International Youth Day!