[www.inewsguyana.com] – “If we don’t invest now we will lose the people that matters the most” Guyana’s Youth and Culture Minister Dr. Frank Anthony said as he declared open the Senior Officials Meeting, convened by the Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP) at the Regency Hotel on Wednesday, January 29.
According to Dr. Anthony it is important to make decisions that will not only impact this generation of young people but future ones too. He called on the Regional Officials to ensure that they deliberate diligently and further went onto explain the far reaching implications, decisions that are made now may have on young people in the future.
He praised the CYP for its accomplishments in addressing the needs of the Region’s youths while adding that the investments over the last 40 years has not been in vain since it has effect positive change among young people and their development.
The Youth Minister also called on the gathering to ensure that deliberations around the future of the programme are given precedence. He said there have been constraints but young people must never stop looking for new models to foster development and contribute to their economies wherever they are.
He believes the quality of life for young people have been diminishing over the years because of diseases and substance abuse and called for the implementation of mechanisms to guard against such destruction. Dr. Anthony also implored that ideas be brought to the fore to ensure that the Region’s young and educated population remain here and work to lift economic development.
Meanwhile, Katherine Ellis, Director of Youth Affairs at the Commonwealth said “while economist and pundits are focused on GDP and growth projections, it is all too easy to lose sight of the needs and potential of young people who are often worst hit by economic crisis.”
She added “this generation can make an enormous contribution to national development with the right prioritization and investment.”
She believes it is essential that the voices of the youths are heard and that government decision makers have the right policy tools available to them.
“Sharing national experiences and working collaboratively, policy makers at this meeting will be putting the commitments of their leaders into action” she added.
The meeting runs the course of two days (January 29 -30) and will review regional and national priorities for youth development.
The commonwealth is a diverse bloc of 53 states, made up of 31 small and vulnerable countries as well as larger countries such as india, Nigeria and Canada. The community is home to 2.2 billion citizens of which over %60 are under the age of 30.