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CARICOM’s Human, Cultural and Natural assets – focus of attention at CARICOM Inter-sessional

Posted in: Press Releases by admin | 25 February 2015 | Release Ref #: 29/2015 | 5820

    CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Rt. Hon. Perry Christie
    CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Rt. Hon. Perry Christie

    (CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana)  “Young people matter. They matter because an unprecedented 1.8 billion youth are alive today, and because they are the shapers and leaders of our global future. They matter because they have inherent human rights that must be fulfilled. “ (UNFPA State of the World Population Report 2014)
    The upcoming Inter-sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) will address young people’s development opportunities in a direct way. The Meeting has as a major focus of its deliberations “Leveraging CARICOM’s Human, Cultural and Natural Assets for the Economic Development of the Community”. It is an item being led by CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Rt. Hon. Perry Christie, who has linked opportunities for youth development to growth in those sectors connected to  the Region’s cultural, intellectual and sporting traditions and achievements.
    Prime Minister Christie signaled his strong commitment to this issue at a recent hemispheric summit.
    “The Bahamas will be hosting the Inter-sessional Meeting of the Heads of State and Government of CARICOM on 26th and 27th February, 2015. During that meeting, it is the intention of The Bahamas to put four-square and centre for our deliberations, a major effort and initiative to further enhance and develop our human capital…. I believe that the future of all of our nations and economies would be greatly enhanced by increased attention … to the needs of our young people. Education, culture and sports are probably the most accessible modules to target in their regard in our Region.” (Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Perry Christie, 3rd Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, CELAC, Costa Rica, 28 Jan 2015)
    The CARICOM Chairman further explained:

    “Addressing the needs of our young people, will be central to the survivability of our countries and to their sustainability. Often young people are the poorest in our societies, with the least skills. So in working to reduce poverty, we must make special efforts to ensure that young people are nurtured and protected. We ignore this at our peril.”

    The Sporting sector has already started to provide  lucrative careers for some CARICOM nationals especially in track and field, football, and cricket. Sports managers, coaches and other officials see significant potential for further development. Opportunities also extend to sports scholarships through which young sports men and women can develop their skills while also pursuing their academic dreams.
    Several CARICOM Member States have also demonstrated capacity to deliver in several cultural industries, especially in music, craft, literary arts, culinary arts, fashion design, festivals, theatre, film and cultural tourism.

    Some Member States have been internationally recognized for their cultural expressions, products and services, and current multilateral economic agreements provide avenues to expand the Region’s global reach.  The marriage of cultural and ICT industries has also increased global market access for the Region’s products and services.  
    The Caribbean Festival of Arts (CARIFESTA), started in 1972 through the joint effort of Governments and civil society, offers a platform for regional practitioners – from writers to performing artistes - to hone and promote their creative skills.  Haiti will host the 12th  edition of CARIFESTA in August this year.
    Heads deliberations at this 26th Inter-sessional Meeting on leveraging the various human, cultural and natural assets, should provide guidelines for expanding youth development opportunities.