JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Minister Hanna said there needed to be a “recalibration of international youth development initiatives'.
  • The Leaders’ Forum is a policy dialogue involving Heads of State and/or Government.
  • UNESCO must see its role as being relevant to this group, our youth, who will inherit the world.

Paris, November 7, 2013 – The Minister of Youth and Culture the Hon. Lisa Hanna, MP has told global leaders attending the 37th session of the UNESCO General Conference in Paris that there needs to be new thinking and action on the subject of youth development.

In her intervention at the Leaders’ Forum on Wednesday, November 6, Minister Hanna said there needed to be a “re-calibration of international youth development initiatives as the approaches taken in the past were no longer effective or relevant.”

The Leaders’ Forum is a policy dialogue involving Heads of State and/or Government as well as representatives of Member States at ministerial level discussing issues of strategic, global and interdisciplinary interest.

Minister Hanna said: “The debate that we have at this level does not connect with youth on the ground, many of whom have had their own discussions on what they see as relevant and how they expect their leaders to satisfy their needs.

“The fact that it took radio 38 years to reach an audience of 15 million and today YouTube takes less than a year to reach an audience of 1 billion gives them the opportunity to change the world in real time perhaps at the same time. We see them as the real catalysts of change.

“Bob Marley did it and today if I ask all of you here regardless of language or country you will all know the words to One Love. That’s the culture of Jamaica at work.  It’s powerful.

“If we miss the opportunity to make the connection with our youth we would have squandered our responsibilities as leaders.”

Minister Hanna cited the case of Jamaica where the Ministry of Youth and Culture was now re-evaluating and re-calibrating its youth development initiatives under the ‘Reset di ting’ campaign which was developed based on a Qualitative Survey on the Situation of Youth in the island.  She said, like Jamaica, global youth development initiatives needed a “reset”.

“In Jamaica we just completed significant in-depth consultations with our young people and even though, for instance, we have satisfied the MDG to have 100 per cent access to education it was clear that our youth still feel a sense of resignation to their purpose to productively participate in the country.

Therefore, UNESCO must see its role as being relevant to this group, our youth, who will inherit the world in the next five, ten, or fifteen years.”

“We must use best practices from each other.  Jamaica did it will Reggae music which helped with the development of progressive legislation for the poor and dispossessed; maternity leave with pay; equal pay for equal work; refusing to trade with South Africa even before our own independence.  And we can now see the success Brazil is having in science and innovation.

“We must know that our youth have already passed us.  So let us lower the altitude and get on the ground with them. Let’s listen, re-calibrate, reset and have the courage to do things differently.”

‘Reset di ting: the courage to do things differently’ has been selected as the theme for Youth Month which is being observed during November.

‘Reset di ting’ is a yearlong campaign of the Ministry of Youth and Culture aimed at inspiring and motivating young people not to accept the status quo as unchangeable.  Under the campaign, the Ministry will be leading work across sectors to develop and implement policies and programmes that are relevant and responsive to the needs of youth.