By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Youth Leader, Clinton Urling says that young people must become an integral part of the national dialogue and have a voice on issues facing Guyana, if the state is to realize its full potential.
On the occasion of International Democracy Day, which was observed on Monday, September 15, Urling stated that youth are disillusioned with the operation of politics and see policy making as a relatively remote activity, rather than that which has a direct effect on their lives.
“Young people make up a significant portion of society, yet for many reasons, they are not actively involved in the development and drafting of crucial public policies that affect their lives,” Urling said in an invited comment to iNews.
The Youth Advocate believes young Guyanese have a low level of trust and respect for politicians and policy makers; adding that older policymakers are seen as unable to understand, aloof and insensitive to young peoples’ interests and concerns.
Urling pointed out that civil society has also not embraced young people and trusted them with leadership roles but believes that groups like SASOD and Blue CAPS are changing this.
“Policy making and politics is seen as a dirty and dangerous activity and young people shy away as a result. Fear of political retaliation that can affect their means of earnings and livelihood dissuade young people from policy making or from joining political parties or policy advocacy civil society groups,” he added.
He has proposed that political parties and civil society groups make deliberate efforts to connect with young people and find ways to transform politics and policy making into a more engaging and meaningful process and activity.
“Environment free from fear must exist. Young people must be assured of their freedom to associate and participate in policy NGOs and political parties; this is a necessary prerequisite condition.”
Themed “engaging young people in democracy,” UN Chief Ban Ki Moon yesterday called on youth to confront challenges, take control of their destiny and translate their dreams into a better future for all.
It is his hope that this group can contribute to building stronger and better democratic societies.
“I call on members of the largest generation of youth in history to confront challenges and consider what you can do to resolve them. To take control of your destiny and translate your dreams into a better future for all.To contribute to building stronger and better democratic societies.To work together, to use your creative thinking, to become architects of a future that leaves no one behind. To help set our world on course for a better future.
On this International Day of Democracy, I call on young people everywhere to lead a major push for inclusive democracy around the world,” Ban said.
Democracy is a universal value based on the freely expressed will of people to determine their own political, economic, social and cultural systems and their full participation in all aspects of their lives.