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Jamaicans called on to apply skills towards sustainable development

KINGSTON, Jamaica, (JIS) – Young people from across the region have been called on to apply their skills towards sustainable development in their countries by regional director of the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), Dr Richard N. Amenyah.

Addressing the recent four-day Caribbean Youth Summit (CYS), held at the AC Mariott Hotel in New Kingston, Dr Amenyah urged the participants to lend their voices to the formulation of public policies, as their innovation is needed to “change our development pathway”.

“When you gain knowledge that is useful, you become more employable, and you know how to connect with people, connect with the Caribbean region. Brainstorm with one another on how to transform our society. We need people with transformative ideas, and we want you to step up your game, and you are the ones to change the development paradigm of the Caribbean,” Dr Amenyah told the audience.

He pointed out that the UN agencies invest heavily in youth development, adding that their voices are very important, and they need to spend time helping to craft sustainable change in their respective countries.

“It is only through regional integration that we can optimise our strength as a people. The Caribbean is a unique place; you are a diverse people. You are very resourceful, and as young people no one should tell you that tomorrow or the future belongs to you. Today, as youth, you can create change,” Dr Amenyah said.

Head of the European Union (EU) delegation in Jamaica, ambassador Marianne Van Steen, said it is important that young people organise themselves and advocate for change of social norms that ignore family violence; and called on the youth to strengthen the “emotional capacity of your peers to deal with challenges” that are associated with gender-based violence, while encouraging “masculinity and girl empowerment that leave out violence as an option.”

The event was staged by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), in partnership with the Caribbean Regional Youth Council and the ministry of education and youth.

Funding was provided by the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative Caribbean Regional Programme, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UNWOMEN), and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).




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