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The Caricom Statement On Social Development At The UN

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YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

Madame Chair, sildenafil
More than sixty percent of the population of the Caribbean Community is under the age of thirty. Our region considers its young people as vital assets, best cialis with the proven capacity to act as agents of social change. The youth, therefore, should be empowered to realise their potential, if development is to be sustainable.

As such, the CARICOM Secretariat, which delivers the region’s youth development work principally through the CARICOM Youth Development Action Plan, has been working towards ensuring that young people are empowered through, youth entrepreneurship, leadership training and the engagement of at-risk youths, among others.

For example, in May 2016 in Antigua and Barbuda, several CARICOM out-of-school youth benefitted from training in entrepreneurship. Part of the CARICOM/Spain Project, ‘Support for Reducing Youth on Youth Violence in Schools and Communities in CARICOM Member States’, the aim of the project is to build the capacity of out-of-school youth, and in so doing, increase their ability to earn. The youth project recognises the key role that entrepreneurship education plays in promoting unique and valuable life skills, as well as career pathways. Two additional workshops took place in St. Lucia and in St. Kitts and Nevis.

INVESTING IN EDUCATION

Madame Chair,
In CARICOM, we believe that education has the power to transform lives. An educated, literate and diverse workforce has positive implications for creativity, innovation and productivity. Education is a key driver of sustainable development and is recognised as having the potential role to build resilience and to combat issues of vulnerability, particularly those faced by small states. These include issues such as climate change, migration, mobility, and financing. In short, investing in education is investing in the future.

For this reason, the Community is committed, through its Education sub-programme, to equipping its people with equitable, high quality, fit-for-purpose education, in order to support their right to work towards achieving a better quality of life, and simultaneously, to equip the region with the knowledge and skills that will enable it to compete in the twenty-first century global environment.

While we are proud of the education gains made in the region over the years, such as achieving near universal access to primary and secondary education and increased tertiary educational opportunities, these gains are vitiated by worrisome levels of crime and violence. These concerns are compounded by, and arguably propelled by, high levels of unemployment and under-employment, alongside skills gaps.

The Community anticipates that the implementation of its education sub-programme, as endorsed by Heads of Government in 2014, will result in positive changes.

Meantime, CARICOM looks forward to the launching of the new Caribbean Development Bank Education and Training Policy and Strategy later this year. It is expected that the new education development agenda, which includes input from key Caribbean stakeholders, will focus on the existing disparities within the region’s current education systems, and in doing so, assist Caribbean countries to achieve positive learning outcomes and contribute to building a high-quality knowledge-based economy in the region.

 

MAINSTREAMING THE COMMUNITY’S DISABILITIES AGENDA

Madame Chair,
People with disabilities within the Caribbean Community continue to be the most vulnerable. They face abuse, neglect, social marginalisation, under-development and extreme poverty.

As a part of its human development agenda, the Caribbean Community is committed to ensuring that persons with disabilities are able to realise their dreams and likewise to participate as full and productive members of society.

As a result, the Pétion-Ville Declaration, was produced. An outcome of the CARICOM High-Level Ministerial on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities signed in Haiti in December 2013, the regionally-accepted declaration reiterates political commitment to ensuring disability-inclusive societies for all and calls for the appointment of a CARICOM Rapporteur on Disability, among others.

The appointment of a CARICOM Rapporteur on Disability is intended to promote modern international standards of care and treatment, to promote positive change in attitudes, perception and behaviours and to develop laws and services for the protection and advancement of the rights relative to differently-able persons.

CARICOM views the upcoming commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as an opportune time for advancing the regions thrust to shift the world towards a more inclusive trajectory.

Madame Chair,
Development is a comprehensive human process the aim of which is to achieve a better future. Human beings are the primary source and ultimate determinant of the development process.

Madame Chair,
Though the countries of the Caribbean Community face considerable challenges, some man-made and others Acts of God, our Community will continue to work to accelerate the pace of social development because we believe that every citizen should have the opportunity to contribute to, and share in, the region’s economic, social and cultural prosperity and to realise their full potential with guaranteed human rights and social justice.

Thank you Madame Chair.