JIS News

More than 80 young representatives from various institutions gathered at Gordon House in Kingston, yesterday (November 7), to debate and put forward recommendations for averting the challenges posed by poverty.
The young persons who participated in the third sitting of the National Youth Parliament in observance of Youth Month (November), said a clear vision was needed for young people, and urged their counterparts in the wider society to take advantage of the available programmes to prepare themselves to compete on the global front.
In addition, the participants also called for the implementation of a strategic plan for the development of the agricultural sector. They suggested that ways must be found to remove the stigma attached to the sector, which would encourage young persons to enter the industry.
The debate, which was held under the theme, ‘Poverty, a National Developmental Challenge’, also saw the young Parliamentarians advocating for the development of a comprehensive strategy to address youth unemployment and the increasing rate of crime and violence.
Furthermore, they said there was a need for the development of multi-dimensional policies and interventions to provide a permanent solution to the problem of poverty. The participants argued that the poor should be provided with income earning opportunities, ready access to production means and the provision of affordable basic services.
They maintained that this could not be achieved through temporary relief programmes, but through a deliberate and long-term policy to increase opportunities.
The young Parliamentarians urged their counterparts to refrain from engaging in unprotected sex to halt the cycle of unplanned teenage pregnancies and the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
They said that enough was not being done to ensure that disabled individuals were given a fair chance on the job market and called for the creation of policies that would facilitate the integration of persons with disabilities in all areas of society.
Meanwhile, Director of the National Centre for Youth Development, Ohene Blake, in giving an overview of the National Youth Parliament, pointed out that particular care was taken to ensure the inclusion of young persons who were parents, those who had been incarcerated, persons from deep rural districts, and persons living with HIV/AIDS. He also noted that there was gender balance in the persons selected.Leader of Opposition Business in the Senate, Anthony Johnson, in his remarks urged the young persons to remain in the country and contribute to its development.
In his remarks, Deputy Speaker of the House, O.T. Williams who declared the sitting opened, commended the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture for seeking to enhance the development of the country’s youth and prepare them for leadership by exposing them to the parliamentary process and procedures.
Representatives were selected from the Boys’ Brigade, Clarendon College, Jamaica Bar Association, the Jamaica Constabulary Force, Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, Jamaica Employers Federation, Moneague College, Munro College, the National Youth Service, Northern Caribbean University and the University of the West Indies, among others.