The Keith Mitchell-led Government is investing time and money into youth participation and representation through a proposal that is geared at youth development.
According to Minister of Youth, Emmalin Pierre, a lot of questions have been raised about the absence of the mock parliament but government is moving forward by seeking to take things a step further.
Speaking at a recent media conference at the Ministerial Complex, she said government has engaged various young people through its youth organisations throughout the island.
“I was extremely amazed by the response of young people to that NTA certified programme in youth development and this is where we expect them to apply all of those skills and be certified, not just participating in a one-off session but to be certified in youth development,” she remarked.
She disclosed that government is moving forward with a model for youth participation and representation to take advantage of the debating and speaking skills of the youth.
This initiative, she said has been in the making for over a year and is foreseen to be one that will be adapted internationally.
“It’s now completed and government has just approved that Ministry of Legal Affairs must now work with the Ministry of Youth to pass (it) in Parliament.
“Our youth policy has just been tabled recently in parliament; we stand among the few internationally that (have) gone beyond not just having a policy but having it approved by the parliament, having it laid in parliament.
“…This proposal, when it reaches the stage of an act of Parliament, would see coming into being and I believe we would be first in the Caribbean – National Youth Elections. We would also see a Youth Parliament set up by law that would basically facilitate young people’s involvement in a very serious way in the national development process.
According to Minister Pierre, this Youth Policy will set the standards internationally for the way Youth Ambassadors are selected.
“We believe that it’s time that we move away from the hand picking of ambassadors…we are now moving to have young people decide who it is must represent them,” she said.
In addition, the senior government minister said that for the first time ever, Grenada is moving towards having an act of Parliament that would speak to the establishment of a National Youth Council.