“Young people must be a central part of economic growth and development.”
This assertion came from Minister with responsibility for Youth, Stephen Lashley, as he delivered the feature address on Wednesday at a National Youth Consultation Workshop, themed: Youth in Sustainable Development, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
Mr. Lashley noted that the nation’s youth must confront their role on all levels relating to sustainable development.
“You have to break it down; …what role you will play, what will your career path be; how will you strengthen the economic model of Barbados; how will you reverse climate change issues; …how will you make yourself more useful to the overall development agenda, especially when it comes to innovation and creativity,” he stated.
The Minister also advised the young persons in attendance that whatever the sphere of activity in which they are engaged, they must also be conscious of “the legacies of protection and preservation” that they are leaving behind for future generations.
CARICOM Youth Ambassador, Zuwena Perry, told the youth representatives gathered that they also “have to be willing to put in the hard work in order to turn this world around”.
While Ms. Perry stressed the need for the nation’s youth to be ready to represent their opinions and ideas, she also encouraged them to be considerate of the opinions of others.
“Listen to the advice and information provided by our peers and those who have more experience, for while we may fight to be heard, we cannot stubbornly stick to a belief that our opinion is the only one with the right answers,” she advised.
This year, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth joined with the Ministry of the Environment and Drainage, as well as the Caribbean Youth Environment Network, to host this national consultation.