Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
April 28, 2008 (SKNIS)
Ian Richards of St. Kitts and Nevis has been elected to the Management Team of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Youth Ambassador Programme (CYAP).
Richards, who is an Assistant Information Officer at the St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service, was elected by his colleague CYAs with a two thirds majority vote to the post of Vice Dean of Public Relations and Communication. The vote was held last week in Barbados at the finale of an Induction and Orientation Workshop for the regional youth advocates, and marks the first time a national of the twin island Federation will serve on the Management Team.
“It was an honour to have been given this vote of confidence by my peers,” said the second year CYA. “The work of the CYAP is very important and we owe it to the young people that we represent at these meetings, to use every avenue available to highlight key issues affecting youth. The media is an important partner in this regard,” he stressed.
Ambassador Richards noted that he will present several new proposals to the Management Team and the Youth Desk at the CARICOM Secretariat to ensure that pertinent news and information about the Corps and its focus areas are communicated in a timely and effective manner. This is considered to be critical as CYAs have expanded work areas from HIV/AIDS and CSME to include climate change and food security, two issues which have been identified as great risks to the region and its people.
“The threats to our countries are very real,” Richards explained. “Whether it is a rising sea level that threatens our coastal towns and villages; the changing weather patterns that can spur more intense hurricanes and damage crops; or the high cost of food that is prompting riots around the world. We need to ensure that our leaders know the position of the youth population on these issues and can commit resources to help CYAs tackle these important issues.”
The Vice Dean added that the launch of the Corps’ website will be an excellent additional communication tool that will facilitate timely communication and encourage greater advocacy among young people.