Pacific Youth Officials agree on plan of action for youth development
Senior Youth Officials from Commonwealth Pacific countries have agreed on regional needs and priorities for Pacific youth, and a timeline for action.
Senior Youth Officials from 10 Commonwealth Pacific countries met in Port Vila, Vanuatu last month to discuss a regional framework for youth development.
The meeting provided an opportunity to introduce Sports for Development and Peace Building to the Pacific region and to discuss strategic alliances and partnering arrangements which will best meet the challenges of delivering best practice youth development activities across the Pacific region.
“It is important that we cement key partnerships with those agencies and organisations with a youth focus who can best meet the challenges of coordinating youth development activities in the Pacific region”, said Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP) Pacific Centre Programme Manager Mr Paul Peteru.
CYP Pacific Centre consulted widely to finalise recommendations from the Senior Youth Officials meeting and allocate target dates for completion of each recommendation. These will be considered by the respective Pacific Youth Ministers and their Governments prior to submitting to the Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting (CYMM) in 2012 in Papua New Guinea.
Key recommendations as agreed by Senior Youth Officials of Commonwealth Pacific countries include:
1. That CYP Pacific Centre work with relevant stakeholders to determine how sports for development and peace-building might be enhanced in smaller Pacific Island Countries with a view to adding value to existing programmes
2. That Senior Youth Officials support a Youth Employment Advocacy (YEA) initiative in their communications with their respective governments and put their policy priorities into action utilising the support of National Youth Councils
3. That CYP Pacific Centre together with Pacific Governments prioritise data collection and profiling of youth for the purposes of evidence-based, targeted programming
4. That CYP Pacific Centre and Senior Youth Officials support the development of National Youth Councils and engage the Pacific Youth Council for the purpose of coordination of youth development activities across the Pacific region
The Senior Youth Officials meeting also discussed a number of avenues to strengthen existing networks and increase the effectiveness of regional communications.
Participants also agreed to support the establishment of a new ‘Youth Awards’ programme, conduct new research on youth participation in Pacific decision-making frameworks as well as support the Ola Fou Diploma programme (Praxis, New Zealand) and the CYP Diploma in Youth Development, both of which have successfully advanced the profile of youth development as an area of academic study.