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Opportunities for our Pacific youth

Press release

Working collaboratively on opportunities for our Pacific youth

Friday 17 November 2006, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), 36th Committee of Representatives of Governments and Administrations (CRGA) - While many countries in the world struggle with the issues relating to ageing populations, the Pacific region is characterised by 'youthful populations' with all their associated opportunities and challenges. SPC's Pacific Youth Bureau (PYB) is the designated central agency for coordinating and monitoring the implementation of the Pacific Youth Strategy 2010 (PYS2010), which was adopted at the 2nd Conference of Youth Ministers of the Pacific Community held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, in December 2005.

"With PYS2010, we have designed a mechanism that has a six-pronged approach to effective monitoring and evaluation," explained Mr Tangata Vainerere, SPC Youth Development Adviser. "The components of the monitoring and evaluation framework include a medium-term work plan for PYS2010 (2007 - 2009), a monitoring instrument, an evaluation mechanism, a Pacific Youth Development Technical Advisory Group, a monitoring and evaluation timetable and a core indicators matrix."

"The Youth Strategy articulates important activities and programmes that address present and future youth issues in the Pacific," said His Excellency Mr Peter Eafeare, Papua New Guinea High Commissioner. "Being a teenager, for instance, is a very critical time in a young person's life. There are so many pressures, like drug issues and employment. It is the highest-risk group in terms of HIV and sexually transmitted infections.

"I am glad to report that Papua New Guinea has been engaging NGOs, including faith-based organisations like Anglicare, which takes care of HIV and AIDS victims and raises young people's awareness of the risks. I would like to express my great appreciation to donors, especially Australia, which has been helping my country in tackling this issue. I believe PNG can share best-practice experiences of dealing with HIV and AIDS, particularly regarding the issue of denial. For many years we knew there was a problem, but we kept it quiet for too long and it blew up in our faces. I urge countries to seek assistance from regional bodies like SPC when faced with challenges."

Mr Crossley Tatui, Secretary to the Niue Government, said, "SPC has really been a champion in driving youth programmes. Countries must complement these activities and fulfil the SPC recommendations through moral and financial support. It needs to be done quickly, because globalisation is having a negative impact on our youth."

His Excellency Mr Kodaro Gallen, Federated States of Micronesia Ambassador to Fiji, added, "Our Pacific young people are part of the region's resources and development undertakings. I would like to congratulate SPC for its work in addressing youth challenges. We Pacific governments must ensure our young people have a sustainable environment that has opportunities to offer. I call on PICTs to extend their hands, especially to our small island countries and our young people."

"PYS2010's monitoring and evaluation framework is part of wider regional efforts aimed towards ensuring that young people in all member countries have a sense of competence, a sense of direction, of belonging, of being an active citizen, of an improving quality of life so that they can go on to become contributing adults," concluded Mr Vainerere.

Photo 'youth.jpg': From left to right:"His Excellency Mr Peter Eafeare, Papua New Guinea High Commissioner, His Excellency Mr Kodaro Gallen, Federated States of Micronesia Ambassador to Fiji, Ms Elisabeth Grémont, New Caledonia representative, Mr Crossley Tatui, Secretary to the Niue Government, Mr Tangata Vainerere, SPC Youth Development Adviser."


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