Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS) — Youth officials in St. Kitts and Nevis gained valuable insight from regional counterparts that are expected to strengthen the push to establish a National Youth Council (NYC) in St. Kitts and to formulate a Federal Youth Policy that provides a framework to effectively develop persons between 18-35 years into well-rounded individuals.
The best practices and challenges faced in establishing these structures in various countries were exchanged at the recent Caribbean Youth Development Conference in Jamaica. Deputy Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Honourable Shawn Richards, led a delegation to the meeting and paid particular attention to the discussions on the topic.
“This is something I’m committed to seeing happen,” Deputy Prime Minister Richards said, adding that he will use the full resources of his ministry, which includes the portfolio for youth, to get a robust policy passed and NYC established.
The Deputy Prime Minister added that Vernon Connor, Special Advisor to the Department of Youth, has been tasked with this role specifically.
The plan calls for multiple engagement with youth, public and private sector officials, representatives of non-governmental organizations and other partners. The convening of various forums including a national youth symposium will allow stakeholders to share their opinion. Consultations will also be held with experts around the region who will lend their experience and advice. The process is expected to intensify in early 2016.
“The young people in St. Kitts and Nevis are not forgotten,” the Youth Minister stated. “They are at the heart and center of the government’s developmental thrust and the Department of Youth in particular, will be ensuring that indeed [their voices] are heard.”