Tuesday, 6 November 2007 9:42 AM

Solomons Youth Representative to Uganda

A Commonwealth Youth Forum will be held on the 14th to 21st of November 2007 at Entebbe, Uganda.

The Commonwealth Youth Programme of Solomon Islands will send one participant to represent the country.

The representative will be among thousands of other young people from the Commonwealth countries around the world who will be participating at the Commonwealth Youth Forum.

The CYF was the sixth meeting to be held for the Commonwealth countries and is hosted by the government of the Republic of Uganda in Entebbe.

With the theme: "Breaking Barriers; Unleashing young people's potential for Development", the CYF6 is an important part of the parallel events for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting which will also be held in Uganda, in Kampala, from the 14th to the 21st November 2007.

CYP SP regional Director, Ms. Afu Billy, said that it is unfortunate that only Solomon Islands and Australia, out of the 14 Commonwealth member countries of the Pacific, had made the commitment to send youth representatives to the CYP6 in Uganda.

The CYP Director said that unless young people are constantly encouraged to participate and be involved in these kinds of forums, the chances of their empowerment is lessened.

She said some governments are of the view that the international forums are a waste of resources and times for the young participants, "but the CYP does not work this way," she added.

Ms. Billy said such engagement and participation of young people greatly increase their knowledge, skills base leading to increased confidence, leadership abilities and the ability to make informed choices, and being responsible for the outcomes of the choices.

"This is what youth empowerment is all about and exactly what the CYF6 is all about, that of providing a special forum and opportunity for government, community and young people to come together to eliminate barriers to their effective participation in the affairs of their various societies," said the CYP Director.

She also said that it is a time to share information and exchange ideas, devise new strategies and plans of actions for the young people of the Commonwealth of Nations.

"It is a time that Pacific Islands Commonwealth member Governments seriously consider the importance of young peoples' attendance and participation at such forums as a very important empowerment tool for our young people," said the CYP SP Director, Ms. Afu Billy.