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YOUNG ISLANDERS - Youth Visioning

YOUTH FOCUS BAHAMAS
Youth Vision for Island Living 2
8-29 January 2004

Background

The Bahamas Government hosted the interregional preparatory meeting for review of the Programme of Action for Small Island Developing States (SIDS), which was held in New Providence 26th - 30th January, 2004. This meeting was planned and executed in collaboration with the United Nations in preparation for the major meeting on SIDS to be held in Mauritius, 30th August to 3rd September 2004. The meeting was opened by the Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Mr. Perry Christie, who noted in his opening remarks the need to balance resources and encourage progress.

The Bahamian Ministry of Education in collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) sponsored, as a side event to the interregional preparatory meeting, Youth Focus Bahamas, under the theme 'Youth Vision for Island Living'. This event was held at Super Club Breezes, Cable Beach, on January 28 - 29, 2004. Youth Focus Bahamas became a model for the International Youth Visioning initiative that is scheduled for Mauritius later this year.

Cognizant of Government's commitment to hear the voice of our youth, this meeting provided an opportunity for young people from throughout The Bahamas to convene in New Providence to discuss issues relevant to them, as well as to identify possible solutions and recommendations which they feel may be implemented by themselves and/or their country leaders as related to the further development and growth of society.

Objectives

  1. To provide participants with an opportunity to discuss and identify those issues that most concern youth within the framework of three main themes:

    - Island lifestyles and cultures - 'Life and love in islands'
    - Safeguarding island environments - 'My island home'
    - Economic and employment opportunities - 'Money in my pocket'.
  1. To enable participants to prepare recommendations to address the issues identified.

  2. To establish a mechanism for networking among youth throughout The Bahamas.

  3. To improve relationships and enhance understanding between youth and various sectors of Bahamian society.

  4. To engender in young people an appreciation of the important role they play in the decision-making process.

Activities

Thirty-five young people met in New Providence from 27 - 30th January 2004. They came from New Providence and the Family Islands and were selected on the basis of several criteria. For two intense days the young people participated in panel discussions, worked in small and large groups to develop their ideas, and then joined together to prepare a Manifesto which they presented to the main United Nations meeting on 30th January 2004, as well as during a press conference. The programme for the consultation, the list of participants and resource persons, and key messages from prominent Bahamian leaders are available in the Manifesto booklet. A full report on the meeting will be available shortly.

The youth then returned to their respective islands to share the activities with their peers and to begin implementing some of the ideas and vision they had worked to develop.

 
 

To get involved, contact :

 

Coastal Regions and Small Islands Platform
UNESCO, Paris, France
csi1@unesco.org
fax: +33 1 45 68 58 08
 

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