Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Stephen Lashley????

A number of issues, that today’s youth have been grappling with in recent times, will soon come under the microscope when a Regional Youth Ministers’ Meeting (RYMM) is convened here.??

"Investing in Youth: New Directions and Strategic Partnerships" is the theme of the two-day conference, which starts on Monday, March 22, at Amaryllis Beach Resort, Hastings, Christ Church.?? Ten Youth Ministers from the Bahamas, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and host country Barbados will be in attendance.

The new Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Stephen Lashley, will address the opening session and later chair the meeting.

Mr. Lashley will also examine this country’s approach to community participation and consensus-building for inclusive youth policy development, while Trinidad’s Youth Minister, Gary Hunte, will highlight his country’s transformation agenda for enhanced programme and service delivery in youth development.

Parliamentary Secretary with responsibility for Youth in Jamaica, Senator Warren Newby, will explain that country’s ongoing programme to engage high-level support and cross-sectoral partnerships for the mainstreaming of youth development.

Officials will also discuss National Youth Policies and Programming: Challenges and Opportunities for Evidence-based Development, and the progress of Regional Youth Caucus (RYC) Reporting – Youth Governance and Participation for Effective Youth Services Delivery.

The objectives of the RYMM are, among other things, to share the Commonwealth Youth Programme’s (CYP)?? 2008-2012 Strategic Plan; engage the meeting in discussing responses to current and emerging issues in youth development; and examine strategies for greater youth participation and partnerships in support of the development agenda.

Additionally, the RYMM will provide an opportunity for Ministers of Youth in the Commonwealth Caribbean and the RYC to contribute to the regional agenda on youth development by reviewing the CYP’s performance since the Seventh Commonwealth Youth Ministers’ Meeting (CYMM) which was held in Sri Lanka in 2008.

Following this assembly, a draft report with recommendations will be prepared for consideration by the mid-term ministerial review team, scheduled for mid-2010 in Sri Lanka. The next CYMM meeting will be held in Papua New Guinea in 2012.

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