Guyanese Youth record concerns & solutions ahead of 4th SID Summit in Antigua

report to be incorporated in next 10-year agenda for SIDS development

12 April 2024
Member of the Guyana Council of Organisations for Persons with Disabilities (GCOPD), Rosemarie Ramit during remarks at the SIDS pre-consultation event in Guyana
Keno George
Member of the Guyana Council of Organisations for Persons with Disabilities (GCOPD), Rosemarie Ramit during remarks at the SIDS pre-consultation event in Guyana

Georgetown, Guyana, April 11, 2024: Nearly 40 youth from several regions in Guyana gathered to discuss climate change, health, education, water, food and energy security, among others, in the context of Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS), during a consultation organized by youth organizations with support from the Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNICEF Guyana.

The youth consultation formed part of regional pre-consultations hosted in preparation for the Children and Youth Action Summit (CYAS) in Antigua and Barbuda. Organized by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, the Ashley Lashley Foundation, and UNICEF the CYAS will be held in conjunction with the Fourth UN SIDS Conference (SIDS4) in May. 

Guyanese youth to share their perspectives on social and environmental issues, while presenting solutions and recommendations ahead of SID summit in Antigua and Barbuda
Keno George
Guyanese youth to share their perspectives on social and environmental issues, while presenting solutions and recommendations ahead of SID summit in Antigua and Barbuda
Blocks

I am most certain that your valuable contributions will benefit not only small island developing states, but the world - Nicolas Pron UNICEF Representative

The CYAS is a pioneering event aimed at empowering young people from SIDS to address complex challenges facing their communities.The event will serve as a highlight of the overall SIDS4 Conference Programme and will provide an essential opportunity for SIDS youth to share their perspectives on an intersection of social and environmental issues and their impacts, as well as to present new ideas, solutions and recommendations for and commit to a course of action.

During the opening of the pre-consultation event in Guyana, Nicolas Pron, Area Representative of UNICEF Guyana and Suriname, explained that SIDS4 is taking place during a critical juncture in the world, especially for small states that face many challenges including climate change, poverty, digital transformation, among other social, developmental, and environmental issues. 

He commended the youth for already being agents of change within their respective communities in Guyana. “All of you are here because you are passionate about the issues facing young people and your communities and you want to see a future of resilient prosperity. I am most certain that your valuable contributions will benefit not only small island developing states, but the world,” Pron said.

In a joint message from the Youth Organisations including the Guyana Council of Organisations for Persons with Disabilities (GCOPD), Guyana Youth and Environment Network (GYEN) and the Guyana National Youth Council (GNYC), Rosemarie Ramit described the event as timely since many young people are affected by environmental, health and other social issues in the Caribbean.

Blocks
Nicolas Pron, Area Representative of UNICEF Guyana and Suriname during remarks at the SIDS pre-consultation event in Guyana
Keno George
Nicolas Pron, Area Representative of UNICEF Guyana and Suriname during remarks at the SIDS pre-consultation event in Guyana

Youth Participant, Ebun Sansculotte, who has a key interest in the topic of climate change, said she was happy to be a part of the event to add her input. “I am so happy to be a part of a great community that cares so much about the environment and ways to help it forward,” she said.

Noting the event was very engaging, Asif Khan, who identifies as a person living with a disability explained that one of the challenges persons with disabilities face is an inclusivity barrier, especially in small island developing states. “This event was useful as it will help to shape the new agenda with our [persons with disabilities] views at the summit, and other countries can adapt in their programmes and policies as well,” Khan said.

The event also saw youth offering ideas and recommendations that will be compiled with other countries’ reports and synthesized into a comprehensive Outcome Document at the CYAS. This document will encapsulate a 10-year commitment to action by youth and presented to leaders during the 1st Ministerial Meeting of SIDS4, thereby providing a compelling roadmap for youth-led sustainable development initiatives across SIDS regions.

At least two young persons are expected to represent Guyana at the CYAS in Antigua and Barbuda from May 27-30.

SIDS4 is being held under the theme ‘Charting the Course Towards Resilient Prosperity’ and aims at assessing the ability of SIDS to achieve sustainable development, including the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals. It will result in an intergovernmentally agreed, focused, and action-oriented political outcome document for the next ten-year agenda for SIDS development.

Media contacts

Crystal Tamika Stoll
Communications Officer
UNICEF Guyana and Suriname
Tel: 592-703-9769

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