Bouterse installs CARICOM youth leaders
President of the Republic of Suriname and Chairman of the Caribbean Community, Desiré Delano Bouterse, last Thursday, officially installed 31 youth leaders as CARICOM Youth Ambassadors. The installation ceremony took place as part of the opening ceremony of the CARICOM-UNASUR High Level Youth Exchange hosted by President Bouterse in Paramaribo , Suriname from June 14, last.
Jamaica’s Dwayne Gutzmer was also installed as the new Dean of the CARICOM Youth Ambassador Corps.
The CARICOM Youth Ambassadors Programme is a mechanism for leadership development and youth participation. The Youth Ambassadors (CYA’s) are the Community’s focal points for deepening the regional integration and development process through advocacy and peer education initiatives.
Membership of the network currently stands at 34 CYA’s from 14 Full and four Associated States. They are selected from the membership of National Youth Councils or other representative youth organizations and/or are experienced youth leaders.
In charging the newly installed Youth Ambassadors, President Bouterse told them that their “ mandate is implicit in their pledge to use their energies, talents and resources to provide leadership for young people of their country and region, and promote the aims, objectives and goals of the Caribbean Community.”
He encouraged them to make a difference in the region and to endeavor to “transcend class and geographical barriers and work together to realize their full potential, thus helping to improve the quality of life of other youth in the region.”
President Bouterse who has lead responsibility for youth development, in the Quasi Cabinet of the CARICOM Conference of Heads of Government expressed his commitment to stand with the youth Ambassadors in their pledge “to work for the social and economic advancement of our region and to advocate for the Caribbean to be recognized and respected as a zone of peace, tranquility and human dignity and excellence within the global system.”
“I give you my solemn commitment to invest in youth NOW for the Community Tomorrow,” the CARICOM Chairman concluded.
Ms Myrna Bernard, Officer in Charge of the Human and Social Directorate in the CARICOM Secretariat also charged the Youth Ambassadors to provide “…the kind of leadership that enhances the motivation, morale and performance of their peers to achieve positive social change and promote human dignity through improved quality of life.”
The Youth Ambassadors who were installed are Phil Rose, Robyn Joseph (Antigua and Barbuda); Demathio Forbes, Ashley Stirrup (Bahamas); Christaneisha Soleyn, Jamonn Roberts (Barbados); Dylan Williams, Kera Bowen (Belize); Dalton Maronie, Natasha Maxwell (Dominica); Kerry Frank (Grenada); Nikson Athis, Cindy Morquette (Haiti); Dwayne Gutzmer, Kerry-Ann Chen (Jamaica); Ian Gerald, Claris Yearwood (Montserrat); Kelvin Antoine, Donna Nelson (Saint Lucia); Kevington Pemberton, Patrice Harris (St Kitts and Nevis); Romena Brown (St Vincent and the Grenadines); Raynell Fraser, Abigail Misdjan (Suriname); Jervis Richardson, Rhina Meade (Anguilla); James Geary, Takiya Smith (Cayman Islands); Dekkel Simmons, Phildreka Mayham (Turks and the Caicos Islands).
The CARICOM Youth Ambassador Programme was launched in Saint Lucia in 1993 by the Heads of Government to mark the Twentieth Anniversary of CARICOM and was formally instituted in 1994. Since its inception, the Youth Ambassador Programme has contributed to increased youth knowledge and awareness of CARICOM issues and priorities; has raised the profile of young people at the national and regional levels; and has assisted in integrating the views and perspectives of young people from across the Region into national, regional and international policy and programmes.