On Dialog and Mutual Understanding
New York, USA 24 August 2011 by T. Vicky Germain
…I would like to thank the Haitian Delegation for giving me the opportunity to express myself in this important forum, I would like to thank them for understanding that youth are crucial to the development of the country. – Rose-Camille Jeudy, 2011 High Level Meeting on Youth.
2011 has seen a massive political movement highlighted in reports of social demands on politicians and governments as well as in images of protest and gatherings worldwide. With increasing violence and civil disobedience becoming the mainstay of these events, we are beginning to gain a better awareness of social conditions threatening the livelihoods of youth across nations, in ways that have not been seen in over 60 years and certainly not in this century.
The notion of change is not new. There have been well-documented cases of citizens effecting change, and as with the US and European Woman’s rights, US civil rights and global worker’s rights movements, the youth of our nations are coming together to effect change for themselves and for those who will follow them. During this year of the youth, their cries are not only for political and social equality, but for economic mobility and educational advancement as well. And their cries are being heard.
Embracing their voices, a global movement for inclusion and activism was the focal point at the UN’s 2011 High Level Meeting on Youth. In their approach to civil engagement, 9 visiting delegates, from four regional departments of Haiti, came to represent the youth of their country and express the need to include youth in rebuilding Haiti’s infrastructure and economic viability. In her address, to the general assembly, VWA JEN Ambassador Rose-Camille Jeudy’s presentation of youth needs were clear.
Establish a structure allowing access to loans for young people to finance their university studies. Enhance the experience of young volunteers by the legal recognition of their volunteering experiences, thereby facilitating the integration of youth in the labor market. Adopt a government policy to facilitate entrepreneurship among youth including access to funding to develop their businesses.
Click link to view the Full List of Postulations.
As the only youth delegation to speak during the general assembly meeting, the Haitian youth did not shy away from sharing these recommendation with a world of national representatives. They also held a side event on the roll of Haiti’s youth in their countries future along with Advisor to the President of the Republic of Haiti, Daniel Supplice, and members of the Organization of American States & KPMG to discuss these recommendations. The youth, not only publicized the vision of children and young people on Haiti’s reconstruction, but also advocated for the global rights of youth participation in the socio-economic life of their countries.
It was this boldness that prompted First Lady Sofia Martelly and her son, Olivier, to meet with the youth upon their return to Haiti. Speaking to the youth, Sophia Martelly said, “”I was informed of the quality of your speech at the UN podium at the major international meeting of youth. Congratulations! because you have worthily represented the country and I am proud of you.”(See photos)
During this meeting, Jean Alphonse Ederson, a member of the youth delegation and VWA JEN ambassador, reminded the first lady that sixty-four percent (64%) of the Haitian population was comprised of youth and expressed the government’s need for taking into account their views on the reconstruction of Haiti.
The participation of the Haitian youth delegation was made possible through a collaboration between UNICEF, Plan International, World Vision and the GMC.
VWA JEN is an interactive platform created to promote civic participation of youth in Haitian society. It is a place for young Haitians can raise their voices and inform themselves on issues affecting youth. The platform is open to contributors from around the country and features articles and posts in English, Creole and French. Its objective is to report on global and local issues affecting young people, promote a global dialogue and share information on featured projects, events and ideas in order to enable meaningful interactions. To become a contributor to the Voices of Youth blog, read our blogging guidelines and send your articles, photo essays and videos to: email@example.com.