NYC Seeks Conference
On August 26th – 28th, Jahisiah Benoit, President of the National Youth Council, represented Dominica at the inter-regional preparatory meeting of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS), at the Hilton Barbados Resort.
Although the meeting was scheduled to be held on August 24th, Mr. Benoit revealed that the youth of the SIDS from across the three regions: the Caribbean, The Pacific and the AIMS Regions, met from the 23rd to the 28th to solidify their position, to input into the higher level meeting.
They key objectives of this meeting, was to present the outcomes of the three SIDS Regional Meetings in Preparation for the 3rd UN Conference on Small Island Developing States, in Samoa in 2014.
On the 26th, the international conference was officially opened with several key speeches.
Mr. Benoit says they now have a concrete agenda of the six items and several key recommendations with respects to good governance and climate change.
As it refers to education, entrepreneurship and employment, he says they would like to move away from the norm, where young people are trained to be job seekers rather than job creators.
Mr. Benoit believes that young people should no longer make recommendations to their governments but instead seek to be active partners in the process for sustainable development.
There were 9 delegates from countries including; Maldives, Comoros, Mauritius, Dominica, Barabados, Samoa and Fiji, as well as a representative from Mauritius, sponsored by the Indian Ocean Commission.
According to the President, the meeting did not produce an outcomes document and even after the Higher Level Drafting Committee met on the night of August 28th, a consensus still could not be reached.
The chairman of the meeting, Minister of Environment and Drainage of Barabados, indicated however, the drafting committee would continue to work on the document, which would be presented in its final draft at the upcoming UN Assembly.
Mr. Benoit says he does not consider this set back a lost opportunity, but a chance to rethink their strategy, up until the upcoming general Assembly.
He is expected to conduct follow-up activities and develop projects to realize the strategies and decisions adopted by the Youth Delegates at the meeting.