Friday, September 18, 2009

Youth Parliament Launched

Hi Again frens,

It is indeed pleasant to hear about the launch of Youth Parliament. I have been fortunate to be part of the Youth Parliament Working Committee which came up with a Draft Conept Paper, which was revised by a TA and is now launched. The Working Committee comprised of enthsuastic young people who had the vision and passion to include our youths in the political debate and during meetings we could at time easily get carried away by our own imaginations.

However, one main factor of concern which stood out then and I would assume is still relevant, is the question of sustainability. This concern has both social and economic implications and clear guidelines has to be identified and set out to ensure that the program is not only a mere 'get-together' for the youths but one that holds significance and impacts directly on policy and political debate and decision-making processes in Solomon Islands at the highest level.

For me, the success of such a program should and must not be measured only on how well it will be organised and implemented in Honiara when the event is to be held but should also take into account and consideration the long-term benefits of merit and experience it will have on the participants. I mean, career-wise, participating in the Youth Parliament should hold some form of formal acrreditation for the participants so that they are formally recognised within the society.

This effect should also be extended down to the provincial and local council levels so that empowerment of youth occurs at all levels of the society. In addition to that, all authorities responsible for the youths issues and affairs should be revived and strengthened so that they are able to takeyouth related issues onboard the national policy agenda. And above all, all these could only be achieved by formulation and effective enforcement of relevant legislation in parliament that would provide the basis and backbone for the proper operations of the structure- the Youth Parliament. Without legislative backing, the Youth Parliament Program will be another esxample of long-term intentions that ended up to be ad hoc occurences in nature.

Ting-ting noma..

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