Malta — Organized as a part of CHOGM, The Commonwealth Youth Forum was hosted on the 21st – 26th of November, 2015 in Saint Paul’s Bay, Malta. This high level meeting is typically hosted every two years. This year’s theme is “Adding Global Value…#What Next”.
As apart of the Commonwealth, The Bahamas was represented at the 10th Commonwealth Youth Forum by Executive Vice President of the Bahamas National Youth Council and National Delegate Ms. Tamar Moss, Candidate for the Caribbean and Americas Regional Representative, Mr. Shaquille Knowles and Entrepreneur and National Observer Mr. Andril Aranha.
There were three events that were attended by the Bahamian youth representatives. These included the:
1. Plenary Sessions
2. Parallel Sessions and;
3. The 2nd General Assembly of Commonwealth Youth Council
The events were organized by Commonwealth Secretariat, Commonwealth Youth Council and the Government of Malta whose aim was, “to achieve cross-cultural connection and learning between participants and consensus on policies to address the challenges and opportunities facing young people” throughout the four regions that represent the Commonwealth.
During the 10th Commonwealth Youth Forum, over 200 delegates from all over the Commonwealth representing four regions; Africa and Europe, Pacific, Asia and Caribbean and Americas.
The major emphasis of the Commonwealth Youth Forum was the parallel sessions where all delegates convened to deliberate on four agenda items, (Economic, Social, Environment and Political). In these sessions delegates expanded on the agenda items and discussed in detail the challenges that are faced by young persons throughout the Commonwealth. Recognizing challenges currently faced, action plans were recommended on how young people can contribute and add value while upholding and enhancing the Commonwealth Charter, as well as achieve the goals of the UN High Level Panel post-2015. These discussions resulted in recommendations being finalized that would assist in developing a common agenda to eradicate poverty and transform economies through sustainable development, and meeting the outcomes of the Commonwealth’s Strategic Plan 2013-14/2016-17.
At the 2nd General Assembly of Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC), National Youth Delegates, including The Bahamas own, Ms. Tamar Moss convened to review and agree on the recommendations posed in the parallel sessions by majority vote.
In addition, Commonwealth Youth Council’s business were conducted where progress, financial and other reports where presented to the assembly. During the General Assembly meetings, elections were also being held where Mr. Shaquille Knowles was candidate for the position of Caribbean and American Regional Representative. The elections were conducted by secret ballot through a preferential voting process.
Although the outcome for the elections for The Bahamas was unsuccessful Mr. Knowles remains a key player within the region and an asset as a committee member. After a heated nomination and election process Mr. Aranha became Deputy Returning Officer of the CYC and Ms. Moss being a member of the General Assembly for the next three years was also asked and accepted the offer to be a part of the Policy and Advocacy Committee of the CYC spearheaded by Mr. Nikoli Edwards of Trinidad and Tobago.