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Cayman Islands Government

Youth Parliamentarian Speaks

Youth Parliament Speaker Diane Tibbetts

Remarks by the Speaker Ms Diana Tibbetts,

CI Commonwealth Parliamentary Association

Fourth Youth Parliament

Monday, 14 March

Before I proceed to the Order of Business I crave the indulgence of this honourable CPA Fourth Youth Parliament to say a few words.

Honourable Leader of Government Business, Honourable Members of the Cabinet, Honourable Leader of the Opposition, Honourable Youth Parliament, family, friends, audience in the Legislative Assembly and lastly viewers by radio and television. I greet you all a good and blessed morning.

It has been an honour and great pleasure for me to be selected as the Speaker of the House for the Fourth Youth Parliament in our beloved Cayman Isle. Today Her Majesty the Queen addressed the issue of "Women Agents of Change". In her address she's letting all the commonwealth countries know that the hundredth anniversary for International Women's Day is the celebration for all people to acknowledge the social and political strides women have made within the last hundred years. This message is conveyed all around the world in all commonwealth countries to recognize the love, admiration and respect for women in today's society.

In Cayman's society today we are going through a difficult time, the economy is bad, crime rates dramatically increasing, people arguing about what changes we should make to the islands. Everyone is focusing on these issues, and not realizing that all of this is affecting the youth, the upcoming generation that will run this country one day, the youth of tomorrow, the youth who will make Cayman what it should be in the future. We as the youth are looked down upon, no one is giving us the opportunity to voice our opinion, our concerns, the knowledge that we have and solutions we have to the current problems of Cayman.

Our beautiful Islands, once safe loving communities are now going through a change of violence and hatred. Full of guns, robbery, and hurting innocent people and even taking precious lives. What has happened? What has caused this change? We as a country should focus and look at these problems in a mature manner, not bickering and blaming people for this, but coming together as one and trying to fix this. We cannot solve a problem if the people who are trying to solve the problem have a problem with each other's ideas. We need to come to terms and accept different ideas and put them together and see if they can work and solve this terrible fact of the Cayman we have today and work together to make Cayman be the loving and safe community that we are familiar with.

Cayman's society need to accept the fact that we the youth are growing up with this negative change that's greatly affecting us and causing a huge impact on the youths lives. We are becoming affected with all these crimes ,we are being victims of these crimes, we the youth want this to stop and we are willing to voice our opinions and facts and statements we know that people are doing and why they are doing it.

Another issue Cayman society is affected by is that our beautiful environment being destroyed by the landfill which most Caymanians know as "Mount Trashmore". This is a huge problem that we have ignored for long enough, if this situation is not addressed, it will affect the children of the future. The landfill affects us in various ways such as visual, land and smell pollution. Also the fact that it's leaching into the North Sound area and soon will leach into our beautiful 7 mile beach area. Leaching is a very serious issue for it can even go into our water supply and this will affect our society, by poisoning people. Cayman, the youth wants you to know that we need to all come together and contribute different ideas to find a solution for this growing situation. To make Cayman's environment a safer place for the generations to come.

Cayman open your eyes, use your ears and listen to us, the youth is crying out for help. If we all listen and all work together we will as an island the whole island including the youth will make the change, and make the change for the betterment of the youth and our generations to come. I'm asking for your support Cayman, please listen to what we have to say not only at this youth parliament, but listen to the youth in general.

If you listen to us youth you will hear amazing things that we have to say and the ideas we have for this country of ours as we know we all live on this wonderful island and we all want the best for Cayman. So let's get together and listen to what all have to say and try to work as one to move Cayman further instead of holding it back and making our islands suffer more. Here today in our fourth youth parliament you will hear what we youth have concerns about and all the various solutions we have to solve the problems. Don't look at us as teenagers all dressed up nicely and just ready to debate against each other. But look at us as Cayman's future politicians, leaders or great people who want to make a change for Cayman. Listen to our opinions for you may be astonished at what we have to say and how we present this. Cayman we are the youth of tomorrow, the next generation and we want to make sure that our islands will be the best islands they could be for our children and the next generations to come.

To the honourable members of this parliament I appreciate and congratulate the work and effort you have put into this meeting, the fourth youth parliament. I am proud of all of us and all the hard work we have put into this debate. I see you're truly concern and passionate in what you are debating about and the fact that we were picked from each of our schools to represent Cayman's Fourth Youth Parliament I am certain that you will represent the youth well. Since we've been chosen to do this job people will see us as obtaining leadership qualities and as great politicians and debaters.

In closing as we are proceeding through the formalities, I want you all to know that you should take your time, use it wisely to show Cayman what we as the youth have to say. For this is a great opportunity for us to show to our country, that we so dearly love, the opinions we have are valid and that we know what we're talking about. For we are not just teenagers debating for the fun, but we are concerned citizens of Cayman who want to see a change and the betterment of our beloved isle.

Thank you for your time and I wish you the best of luck in this debate, I'm looking forward to today's event.

For further information contact: Bina Mani