THE most important asset prevalent in the Pacific region is children and youth, Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare said.
He said they were the future of the Pacific and the region’s success depended on the quality of human capital.
“The success of the region depends on the quality of human capital that we can harness and develop for a better Pacific,” Sir Michael said.
He said people could not talk about development in the region without developing human resources because educating and skilling people was the fundamental building blocks for the Pacific.
“If this foundation is weak then the livelihood of our people will be difficult to improve.”
Sir Michael, who opened the 8th forum education ministers meeting in Port Moresby on Tuesday, said the region’s aim must be to produce healthy and intellectually smart citizens.
“Our aim must be to produce citizens who are healthy and intellectually smart,” he said, adding that these qualities must be balanced with good ethics and positive attitudes.
“We have the responsibility to educate and train every man, woman, boy, girl to be empowered to take ownership of their well-being and livelihood.”
Sir Michael also highlighted that current demograph indicated more than 50% of the population in the Pacific was youth.
He said this presented a huge potential for collective wealth creation and development, therefore, people together should look at programmes and systems that encourage greater participation of youths at the national and regional levels.