Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, is encouraging the country’s young people to share their insights and discover new ways to make a meaningful impact on the country.
He gave the charge as he delivered the keynote address during the opening session of the 12th staging of the Youth Consultative Conference (YCC) held at the AC Mariott Hotel in New Kingston on Thursday (October 26).
The Governor-General noted that the annual conference, organised under the ‘I Believe Initiative’, which is an arm of the Governor-General’s Programme for Excellence (GGPE), provides an important platform for dialogue among the country’s youth about their ideas and solutions to some of Jamaica’s most pressing social issues.
To ensure that the voices of young people resonate and have an enduring impact, the Governor-General said that his team is implementing “platforms and initiatives that are integrated into actionable plans for a brighter Jamaican future”.
“I firmly believe that while we wrestle with societal challenges there are undeniable strengths and virtues within Jamaica that can guide our path,” he said.
“Youth perspectives must now be considered in the decision-making processes when it comes to interventions, policies and activities that are designed for them,” he noted.
This year’s conference, under the theme ‘Creating a Culture of Peace among Jamaica’s Youth’2,’ focused on fostering peace-building strategies by and for young people.
The Governor-General said that the conference theme emphasises the importance of building peace, noting that many interpersonal conflicts have escalated into violence due to lack of effective resolution methods.
“The emphasis of this year’s YCC is to renew dedication, and to propose solutions to crime and violence. The GGPE has joined hands with vital Ministries and the United Nations agencies to enrich the ongoing dialogue on this topic,” he said.
The Governor-General commended the youth delegates and urged them to represents their peers, schools and communities well.
Other segments of the conference included a round-table youth consultation and discussion on topics such as ‘Choosing a Path Beyond Crime and Violence’ and ‘Youth, Peace and Sustainable Development’.
The annual Youth Conference, which targets young people from different backgrounds across the island, allows the youth to share their experiences, and present ideas that can help them become agents of positive change in their schools and communities and make Jamaica more peaceful.