The Governor-General’s I Believe Initiative (IBI) Youth Consultative Conference (YCC) is back after a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The highly-anticipated virtual two-day youth-focussed activity began Wednesday October 6th under the theme, “A Decade of Action: Building a Resilient Path to Recovery with and for Jamaica’s Youth.”
In his Remarks at the Opening Ceremony, Governor-General and IBI Patron Sir Patrick Allen observed that “Our recovering is a partnership and will require not only youth participation but collective action from every member of our society”
“My heart is with every Jamaican as we seek to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. My heart is also saddened each time I see the crime epidemic that has rocked Jamaica, especially at this time when we should be working together,” Sir Patrick added.
A core feature of the Conference is enabling dialogue with young people on pressing issues affecting the nation. This year, along with the main partner, the United Nations in Jamaica, the Conference has sought to explore how young people’s lives have been affected by the pandemic and their prognosis to recover.
United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator in Jamaica, Dr. Garry Conille, in addressing the Conference highlighted the fact that 46% of the Jamaican population are youth and it is, therefore, critical that all leaders listen and connect with young people to build a more progressive society.
Dr. Conille said the UN in Jamaica has made a commitment to increase partnerships and this can only be attained through dialogue with youth, like those at the Conference. “A very important feature of this event is Government leaders with youth leaders engaging in one space,” Dr. Conille remarked.
Wednesday’s main Plenary Session discussed the issues in the educational system caused by the pandemic. The main guest was the Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Honourable Robert Nesta Morgan, JP.
The session was moderated by youth advocate, Roshan Campbell, with participants Christina Williams, President of the Jamaica Union of Tertiary Students and Danielle Jordan, Vice President of the National Secondary Schools Students’ Council, Region.
Speakers at YCC 2021 include medical professionals, educators, and representatives from youth organizations. The Special Guest on Thursday will be the United National Secretary General on Youth Development. The Conference may be accessed at www.2021ycc.com
I Believe Initiative’s Youth Consultative Conference, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, has facilitated the nation’s youth to share their views on topics including Mental Health, Human Trafficking and Substance Abuse. The IBI is an arm of The Governor-General’s Programme for Excellence (GGPE).