The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has developed a 13-year draft policy agenda, which lays out its vision and policy agenda for Grenada for the period 2017-2030.
NDC Political Leader Sen. Burke told reporters Monday that the document was presented to more than 230 NDC delegates at a recently held special NDC General Council.
According to Burke, a former Minister of Finance, the delegates were “afforded the opportunity to discuss it in detail and make recommendations and submissions for this particular way in going forward.”
He said plans have been specifically developed to give young people an opportunity to be a part of the decision making process, not only of the political party, but the country on a whole.
He noted that “every single organ of our party has a youth on it, inclusive of the party’s management committee.”
The NDC political leader stated that young people “cannot be seen as just as a problem that we are trying to solve”.
“The young people have to be seen as a resource that we are going to try to utilise in the county and the way to best achieve that is to put young people at the decision making table with us”, he said.
“We (NDC) believe that the government’s responsibility is not to give something to the young people (but that) the young people must be directly involved in policy making and implementation because they are the majority (and) we cannot develop this country without them”, he added.
Burke pointed out that one of the first things the NDC will seek to do once it takes office in the upcoming general election is to “amend the Constitution so that the (13-member) Senate would have in it three Senators at least 30 years and under and we would insist that one of those three must be a male and one of those three must be a female”.
“In that way, when the Senate meets you know that young people are going to be directly involved in the passage of laws, the discussion of policies that would ensure that they are not just getting an Imani $700, but that they are involved in the government itself”, he said.
Reference to the Imani is the programme started by the ruling New National Party (NNP) government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell to provide employment opportunities for the nation’s youth.
The NDC Political Leader told reporters that a Congress administration “will reserve two places for junior ministers or parliamentary secretaries for young persons under the age of 30”.
“We say also that in the selection of boards to the statutory bodies and corporations we will insist that at least one member of every board of every statutory corporation would be somebody at age 30 or under”, he said.
Sen. Burke expressed the view that the current administration has not demonstrated leadership and the capacity to harness the potential of the nation for good use and purpose is missing in the country.
“I am saying to you feel very confident that I can lead an organisation to do that and will do that if given the opportunity by the Grenadian electorate…and we are preparing for governance,” he said.
Sen. Burke is said to be preparing Congress for a snap election between September and December.
There are reports circulating that the ruling party is planning to launch its own newspaper in the coming weeks as part of the preparation for the next national poll.
Former Senator and Parliamentary Secretary for Information, Sheldon Scott is said to be spearheading the efforts to start the newspaper.