- Young people have been called on to make an impact in the world and to take advantage of the many opportunities in the Commonwealth.
- Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, made the call at a ceremony to commemorate Commonwealth Day, on March 17, at the Ministry, in New Kingston.
- She pointed out that more than 60 per cent of the Commonwealth is comprised of youth.
Young people have been called on to make an impact in the world and to take advantage of the many opportunities in the Commonwealth.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, made the call at a ceremony to commemorate Commonwealth Day, on March 17, at the Ministry, in New Kingston.
The day was observed under the theme: ‘An Inclusive Commonwealth’. Attending the function were students and teachers of Mona High School and the University of the West Indies, Mona, as well as members of the Diplomatic Corps.
“Students, opportunities abound in the Commonwealth, as elsewhere, for you to fulfill your potential. I advise and I encourage you to explore and take advantage of them. As agents of change, I challenge you to be sources of inspiration and transformation, wherever you go, so that Jamaica and indeed the entire Commonwealth can be a better place,” the Minister said.
She pointed out that more than 60 per cent of the Commonwealth is comprised of youth.
“That includes you. Imagine the potential therefore, for the youth to make an impact on the Commonwealth. As young people, you can help to break down barriers, while promoting tolerance and being accepting of differences. Indeed, what a difference you could make on the world,” she added.
The Minister commended Youth Ambassadors, Tijani Christian and Sujae Boswell, who are part of the global network of young people making a difference in the Commonwealth.
She said that Mr. Boswell was recently elected to serve on the Executive of the Commonwealth Youth Council for the period 2015-2017.
The Minister also congratulated Shamoy Hajare, Caribbean Regional winner for the 2016 Commonwealth Youth Awards for Excellence in Development work and founder of the Jamaica School for Social Entrepreneurship.
“These efforts to raise awareness of the Commonwealth are noteworthy and further underscore the critical role of young people in national development,” she said.
The Minister said that Jamaica is committed to the objectives of the Commonwealth in the promotion of democracy, human rights and the rule of law and equal opportunity for all.
Senator Johnson Smith said the country has benefitted from technical assistance under the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation (CFTC) in critical areas to national development, including capacity-building in crime prevention and legislative drafting; training of public officials in debt recording and management.
Moreover, she said the Commonwealth Foundation has provided several grants over the years to various civil society organizations in areas such as cultural affairs, health and gender affairs.