St. Kitts and Nevis Urges that UNESCO Deploy Expertise on Youth, SIDS and Climate Change at Executive Board

200 Session of the XB with President of General Conference, Oct 2016

(NATCOM) – Basseterre, 24 October, 2016:  The Human vulnerabilities of Small Island Developing states were highlighted at the 200th Session of the United Nation’s Executive Board Meeting in Paris last week.

A release from Paris stated that Secretary-General of the St. Kitts & Nevis National Commission Mr. Antonio Maynard and his colleague Dr. David Doyle continued to make a strong appeal on behalf of Small Island Developing States. “We are of the opinion that a focused UNESCO policy intervention is required in our region to empower our young people, by providing opportunities for constructive engagement by the youth on critical matters that directly affect them and society at large; we can transform their frustration into meaningful empowerment, via their active participation in nation-building programmes”.

The Secretary General suggested partnering with youth by providing them with the relevant information, resources and training opportunities to ensure that they would be able to “carve out a secure environment. This he said would be fleshed out by “convincing the youth of today of “the dangers of idleness, gang involvement and violence, and of the value of education and constructive work, tolerance and society-reinforcing activities”.

Reference was made to the recently launched joint UNESCO and Commonwealth study intervention to assist St, Kitts and Nevis in the finalization of its draft National Youth Policy.  Ambassador of the Federation to UNESCO, Dr. David P. Doyle who also made up the delegation revealed that the revision and completion of the document would be accompanied by a strategic action plan for the future. “This would involve an extensive range of local stakeholders, via a Steering Committee and Technical Stakeholders Group, currently being formed on the twin-island,” Dr Doyle Stated.

The completion of a comprehensive Education Policy Review for the Federation of St. Kitts was underscored as one example of the benefit of collaboration with UNESCO by the St, Kitts Nevis delegation.  “The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis over the next five years aims to successfully highlight the synergy between this UNESCO policy review and the development of a relevant education sector plan.  The plan will be very closely aligned to the issues of quality and equity, in line with the new global education agenda for 2030.” The Secretary General said.

The prospect of enshrining Small Island Developing States (SIDs) as not only as a priority group, but as a global priority within UNESCO’s future programme and budget framework, was raised, thereby elevating the organization’ s work – and funding – on SIDS to a more senior level of strategic importance within UNESCO.

On the fringes of the UNESCO Executive Board, the SKN delegation met key UNESCO experts at headquarters in Paris to map out tangible projects earmarked in the Federation. This will include, importantly, a UNESCO ministerial conference on water strategy in the Caribbean, bringing together ministers, local and international water experts, funding agencies and other stakeholders in April 2017.

Plans are also being developed to organize workshops in St. Kitts and Nevis to elaborate and launch a local strategy in the field of intangible heritage conservation, following the Federation’s ratification of the 2003 Convention on intangible. This will encompass an inventory of existing intangible heritage items and capacity building input for local heritage contacts.

Starting in 2017, the Nevis authorities will be working with UNESCO in preparing the submission of the old town of Charlestown to be inscribed on the World Heritage List.



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