Belize Delegation returns from Youth Conference in Suriname Print E-mail
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Written by Shane D. Williams   
Thursday, 04 February 2010 00:00

On Monday a team of Belizeans returned from a Caribbean Youth Summit in Suriname. The summit was held to finalize a report which stemmed from the 27th meeting of Heads of Government in July 2006 that mandated the establishment of a Commission on Youth Development which was tasked with undertaking a full scale analysis of the challenges and opportunities for youth in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and making recommendations to improve their well-being and empowerment.
The Commission was established in March 2007; the commissioners were appointed

from the CARICOM member state and Belize’s representative was Mr. Alberto Vellos. Joining Mr. Vellos on the Belize Delegation was Anita Zetina, Officer in Charge of UNICEF in Belize, Sherlene Tablada, youth representative of UNICEF and Youth Ambassadors Kera Bowen and Dylan Williams. Minister of Youth and Sports, Hon. Elvin Penner represented the Prime Minister of Belize.

At the summit, the participants worked together to develop a Plan of Action to implement the recommendations made by the CARICOM Commission on Youth Development. This Plan of Action was included in the final report and delivered to the Heads of Government on Saturday, 30 January, 2010.

Hon. Elvin Penner, said, “It was an honour to represent Belize at the summit” He was with the Youth Ambassadors for the four days of the Summit and said that he noticed the difference in relationship between the Belize Youth Ambassadors and himself from the Youth Ambassadors of the other countries and their Government officials. He said, “Our Youth Ambassadors have far more access to their leaders. We even have them on different boards to show how important the input of our young people is.”

Minister Penner said that he believes the recommendations and subsequent policies developed from the report will contribute significantly to the advancement of youths in Belize and the rest of CARICOM states.