(NATCOM) - Basseterre, 5th May, 2016: St. Kitts and Nevis’ participation in UNESCO’s 199th Session in April 2016 put the Government’s agenda for youth in sharp focus and established it as an action priority in the months ahead. Secretary General of the National Commission for UNESCO Mr. Antonio Maynard and Permanent Delegate of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis to UNESCO, Ambassador David Doyle, presented a number of burning issues affecting the Federation including that of the finalization of a Youth Policy that would necessitate the revision of the existing draft policy. A substantive meeting lead by Secretary General of the National Commission for UNESCO - St. Kitts and Nevis, Antonio Maynard and Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences Ms. Nada Al-Nashif, centered on UNESCO’s intervention to conduct such a review of St. Kitts and Nevis’ Youth Policy and Strategic Action Plan.
As such, preparations got underway for a planned study visit to St. Kitts and Nevis to be undertaken by the UNESCO Youth Unit to discuss the existing embryonic plan for youth development, through a multi-stakeholder and participatory approach.
In keeping with UNESCO’s very comprehensive strategies, the project will be coordinated with the OECS and CARICOM, given the need for an optimal response that balances national and sub-regional needs in several areas of expressed priority by Caribbean Ministers.
The UNESCO review of the St. Kitts-Nevis youth plan will be the basis of a seminar/workshop organised in the Federation to engage the youth and stakeholders on the evolution of the youth strategy.
Secretary General Antonio Maynard has recorded his appreciation for the very forthright involvement of Minister with responsibility for Education and Youth Hon Shawn Richards in supporting the forward movement of the Youth Agenda.
In response to a recent letter from the Minister of Education Hon Shawn Richards to UNESCO’s Director General for Social and Human Sciences, Ms Al-Nashif wrote. “We fully welcome this initiative and the determination of your government to provide a solid, comprehensive and cross-sectorial response to youth development issues in the country. Your proposal fully aligns with UNESCO's operational strategy on Youth, which seeks to provide support for national youth policy development through a multi-stakeholder and participatory approach.
Deputy Prime Minister Richards has stated in response to the advise that the UNESCO Mission should be on the ground in St. Kitts and Nevis by June this year, “My government continues to appreciate the expertise and support of UNESCO’s sustainable development goals as a small island developing state and welcomes this team of experts as we seek to chart the way forward for youth development.