Caribbean Youth and UNDP Promote Sustainable Development

Oct 2, 2015

Young People Pose for a Photo at the UNDP Booth mounted at the Caribbean Youth Development Conference - 30 September to 2 October 2015 at University of the West Indies, Mona. Photo Credit: UNDP Jamaica

Hundreds of young people from across the Caribbean gathered in Kingston, Jamaica, for three days to share ideas and listen to perspectives on Youth and the Post 2015 development agenda from 30 September to 2 October 2015. UNDP Jamaica was pleased to be able to participate in the dialogue and provide information on the newly launched Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) with this vibrant and enthusiastic youth audience.

“Youth Post 2015: Direction for Sustainable Development in the Caribbean” was a youth development conference organized by the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) at the University of the West Indies’ Regional Headquarters, Mona. The conference explored youth’s work in, and potential contribution to, various areas including Governance and Politics, Economic Citizenship, Employment and Sustainable Livelihoods, Social Protection and Justice and Health and Wellness.

As one of the main sponsors of the event, UNDP Jamaica’s participation was evident in the official opening ceremony, some key sessions on youth governance and a presentation on a project under development that targets youth in inner city communities in Jamaica.

In delivering remarks at the start of the conference, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Dr. Elsie Laurence-Chounoune, emphasized the central role youth must play in the post 2015 development agenda.

“For us at UNDP, this conference is timely as it was less than a week ago, that the leaders of more than 150 countries adopted the new Sustainable Development Agenda, including the 17 new Sustainable Development Goals at the UN Sustainable Development Summit,” Dr. Laurence-Chounoune noted.

UNDP also mounted a booth throughout the duration of the conference, and took this opportunity to promote the SDGs and to encourage youth to think about what the goals mean for their lives, their work and their areas of interest. There were quiz questions with giveaways to participants who responded correctly. Both young and older persons were encouraged to take pictures in the UNDP ‘photo frame’ which also promoted the SDGs.

Finally, research for the 2016 Human Development Report for Latin America and the Caribbean was also facilitated through the conference as organisers, at the request of UNDP, made space within the agenda for a focus group discussion on how young people see progress, what factors they think are necessary for progress, what their dreams are and what they feel is needed to realise these dreams.

Youth delegate at the UNDP Booth at the SALISES Youth Development Conference
Young filmmaker and conference delegate shows his support for the SDGs at the UNDP Booth
UNDP Jamaica's Novia McKay (2nd left seated) chairs a panel at the Youth Development Conference and listens intently to a young presenter
UNDP intern Melissa Bayer engages youth delegates at the UNDP Booth
Youth delegates participate in a focus group session for the Regional Human Development Report during the Conference
Youth delegates discuss how they see progress and the factors essential to achieve progress during the Regional Human Development Report focus group session
Youth delegate presents on a focus group discussion for the Regional Human Development Report
Youth delegate shares her group's points after a focus group discussion for the Regional Human Development Report
Warren Benfield (left) and Jimmy Vasquez (right) share information on plans for the Regional Human Development Report with focus group participants at the Youth Conference

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