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Caribbean Youth Day

Minister for Youth, the Hon. Mark Scotland

Message from the Minister of Health, Environment, Youth, Sports and Culture

The Hon Mark Scotland

Caribbean Youth Day: Youth Mainstreaming, Critical to Sustainable Development

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Today we celebrate Caribbean Youth Day and this year the focus is on mainstreaming our youth in order to ensure their own -- and our -- future.

Our young people, teenagers and young adults alike, face increased pressures, and the only way we can secure their future, is by making a concerted effort to align government youth policies.

My ministry is committed to our youth's holistic development. This year we will carry out a review of the National Youth Policy; and the National Youth Commission will implement the updated policies that will make a difference to the individual and collective lives of our younger residents.

We want to see our young people get involved in every aspect of community life; we want to inspire them to achieve their dreams, and we want to encourage them to take the lead. We are going to put our young people at the heart of the new youth policy, but this time as the solution, rather than the problem.

But, however much we adults commit, we can only achieve success in improving their position if they, the young people of the Cayman Islands, rise to the challenge, do their part, and meet us halfway.

Our world faces multiple interconnected crises - climate change, unemployment, overpopulation, scarce resources. And it is unfortunately true that the adverse effects of these issues fall disproportionately on today's young people.

And so, Cayman's young men and women, this is your call to action. I know you have it in you for I have seen your depth of talent and your potential. Now, it is up to you to channel your energy and creativity into securing peace and sustainability for your own generation and for the future.

Caribbean Youth Day Message from Henry Charles

Regional Director, Commonwealth Youth Programme, Caribbean Centre

The Commonwealth Youth Programme Caribbean Centre and its partners extend a very successful Caribbean Youth Day to all youth development stakeholders.

This year's commemoration is being held at a time when young people in the Caribbean and throughout the Commonwealth are preparing to participate in the 7th Commonwealth Youth Forum to be held on November 21-27 in Trinidad and Tobago.

It is also being held at a time when the Report based on the work of the CARICOM Commission on Youth Development is about to be submitted with recommendations for young people's role in the CSME and regional development.

But above all Caribbean Youth Day is being observed at a period when our member countries have been experiencing unprecedented social and economic challenges, many of which will impact on young people in a disproportionate manner.

Now more than ever it is necessary for young people to be more fully engaged in the development process at all levels.

The CYP takes this opportunity to call upon:

  1. Governments to implement the necessary National Youth Policies and align them with their national macro development plans to ensure maximum participation of young people in the developmental process.

  2. All Youth development stakeholders in the Region to strengthen existing networks and build new strategic alliances to ensure resources are optimally pooled to benefit a wider target of youth stakeholders and so as to improve the delivery of programmes.

  3. Young people everywhere, in and out of school, on the blocks and in the board rooms to increase their knowledge of what's going in their communities and countries, to hold society and each other accountable for progress, and to redouble efforts to reorganize and strengthen their youth networks as advocates and catalysts for meaningful development.

We wish everyone a productive Caribbean Youth Day.