The National, Monday 22nd April 2013
GOVERNMENTS in the Commonwealth have been urged to prioritise youth development and sustainability in their countries.
This was one of the six resolutions reached at the Commonwealth ministers’ meeting in Port Moresby last week where youth ministers from Commonwealth nations discussed possible steps to assist the development of young people.
The meeting urged governments:
l To integrate young people in the design and implementation of national youth policies and action plans;
l Endorse the establishment of an autonomous Commonwealth Youth Council based on the principles and values of the Commonwealth;
l To encourage participation and voice for youths;
l That the Commonwealth secretariat ensure youth development is adequately represented post 2015 youth development agenda and that there should be alignment between the Commonwealth and other youth development frameworks;
l Commit to promote and exhibit value-based leadership for the future of young people and for value- based leadership, human rights, entrepreneuership and anti-corruption be embedded into the countries’ educational and action-learning curicular from an early age;
l Commmit to develop and strengthen by 2015 the economic policies that will promote youth employment, employability and enterprise development mindful of equality concerns around gender and socially disadvantaged groups; and
l Create, assist and improve the Commonwealth youth policies and programmes for Commonwealth youth empowerment.
Commonwealth deputy secretary-general Mmasekgo Masire-Mwamba said the resolutions provided for real leadership and guidance of young people for their development.
She said leaders must work more effectively with young people at the national level.
“The ministers and leaders identified means to engage young people.
“The meet provided the opportunity for stakeholders to share ideas and insights for youth development. It is indeed an enriching time for all to gravitate and engage on youth issues and take the step to push for youth issues at the national level,” she said.
Director of the Youth Affairs division at the secretariat Katherine Ellis said the ministers resolved to put young people at the centre of development. They pledged to work with the secretariat and young people through the means identified at the meeting.