Youth Parliament to Sit on Monday

Photo: JIS Photographer Hon. Floyd Green, MP, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information

Story Highlights

  • Young persons from clubs and organisations across the island will come together for the staging of the National Youth Parliament on Monday (November 14) at Gordon House beginning at 10:00 am.
  • The National Youth Parliament was initially implemented in 2003 as a Youth Month activity of the National Centre for Youth Development (NCYD). Seven sittings were held up to 2009.
  • Mr. Green told JIS News that the participants were recommended through youth organisations such as the National Secondary Youth Council and Jamaica Union for Tertiary Students, as well as an open application process.

Young persons from clubs and organisations across the island will come together for the staging of the National Youth Parliament on Monday (November 14) at Gordon House beginning at 10:00 am.

The event is being spearheaded by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.

The National Youth Parliament was initially implemented in 2003 as a Youth Month activity of the National Centre for Youth Development (NCYD).  Seven sittings were held up to 2009.

It is intended to provide a forum for young people, aged 15-24 years, to express their views on various issues, network, and become involved in the process of democracy and governance at both the national and local levels.

The sitting also serves to introduce young people to parliamentary processes and procedures, while developing their skills in research, policy formulation and analysis, advocacy, public speaking and communication.

At the same time, they will dialogue with national political representatives, and review legislation and policy towards advancing the youth mainstreaming agenda.

Speaking in an interview with JIS News, Portfolio State Minister, Hon. Floyd Green, said the reconvening of the National Youth Parliament provides an avenue for young people to give a voice to the issues that affect them.

“One of the things we are doing with Youth Parliament…is that (youth) parliamentarians will serve for a year. After they have the sitting and they come up with their suggestions, the intention is that they will take those suggestions and resolutions and they will lead a campaign for that year to seek the changes that they want and see if they can bring them about,” Mr. Green said.

He noted that the participants will work closely with the Youth Advisory Council as teams of researchers on various issues.

The youth parliament will consist of 70 members and include clerks to the house and press gallery members.

Clerks will provide administrative support, while press members will prepare opinion pieces and other publications of the youth parliament and advisory council.

Mr. Green told JIS News that the participants were recommended through youth organisations such as the National Secondary Youth Council and Jamaica Union for Tertiary Students, as well as an open application process.

“One of the good things with this parliament is that we will have youth parliamentarians with disabilities, as we want to be as inclusive as much as possible,” he noted.

Meanwhile, the participants have benefited from training in parliamentary procedures, where they learnt the roles and functions of a parliament.

“Some of them may have misconceived notions based on what they see in practice as to the function of parliament, so we expect them to be much more au fait and much more in tune with how you can create change,” Mr. Green said.

“We expect them to have greater understanding of the concept of politics, the concept of serving, creating change… that is what we expect from the Parliament,” he added.

At the event on Monday, the youth parliamentarians will discuss issues such as crime, climate change and unemployment.

At the end of the sitting, the State Minister will compile a report, which he will present to the House of Representatives.

 

“So, I will lay out some of the critical things that are discussed and the physical resolutions that they have passed. I will present that in a statement to the House. Also, we expect them to champion those issues for the year they are parliamentarians (and) to work towards how we can make some of those solutions enacted,” Mr. Green said.

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