Published 19 December 2023
Buckie Got It Media Source
GOVERNMENT TO EXPAND YOUTH REPRESENTATION IN DECISION-MAKING IN 2024
Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 18, 2023 (SKNIS): Youth representation at key decision-making roles is expected to expand in 2024, with the advancement of a proposal to establish a youth focal point within each government ministry in St. Kitts and to create an umbrella student council.
The proposal is being spearheaded by the Ministry of Youth Empowerment and is in keeping with the vision of Deputy Prime Minister, the Honourable Dr. Geoffrey Hanley. While serving as the Director of Youth in 2010, Dr. Hanley successfully advocated for youth to be included on statutory boards. He noted that this tradition is being enhanced under “another Labour Government.”
Photo: Deputy Prime Minister, the Honourable Dr. Geoffrey Hanley
“It continues under the leadership of our honourable prime minister, the Member for Constituency #8, where our young people are given a space at the table, an iPad or a laptop in front of them, for them to make their own contributions and we are going to be pushing more of this in 2024,” he stated, on December 15, during the 2024 Budget Debate.
Another youth-focussed measure pledged by Deputy Prime Minister Hanley is the establishment of a National Student Congress in 2024.
“I will do whatever is necessary to make sure that happens. I did it 22 years ago with the SKNYPA (St. Kitts National Youth Parliament Association) and we are going to do it in 2024, giving these school leaders the opportunity to have their voices heard when it comes to education and where they see St. Kitts and Nevis, as we move toward a Sustainable Island State,” said Dr. Hanley.
He urged persons not to underestimate the primary and secondary school students, noting that they have given quality representation when given the opportunity at various forums and interactions. The campaign at various schools for student body government was cited as an example of how professional and organized school students are as well as their ability to mobilize people and resources.
“That is why we will expose our youth to every facet of the national agenda and include them in the work, and above all, we will continue to remember and to recognize their remarkable contribution in their endeavours and award them in every way we can Madam Speaker,” the deputy prime minister indicated.
Dr. Hanley congratulated Minister of State, the Honourable Isalean Phillip, for her stewardship of the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Ageing and Disabilities, noting that she shares his vision and is equally committed to advancing the rights and responsibilities of the nation’s youth.