Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 23rd 2014 Contents A14
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With the aim of fully implementing the National
Youth Policy 2012-2017, the Ministry of Gender,
Youth and Child Development has put together a
21-member multi-sectoral committee tasked with
establishing a National Youth Commission of T&T
within the next six months.
Its inaugural meeting was held yesterday at the
International Waterfront Complex, Port-of-Spain,
where the new members who represent a cross-
section of the public sector, civil society and general
public met to discuss the committee s role and the
concept of the commission.
"The committee and its contribution to the estab-
lishment of the commission form part of the new
structures and initiatives that are necessary to keep
youth development a national priority," Minister
Clifton De Coteau said during the formal ceremony
before the private meeting began.
Speaking to the T&T Guardian, committee mem-
ber Nicholas Morris, who is also head of the youth
delegation to the Commonwealth Heads of Gov-
ernment Youth Forum, said in six months the com-
mittee should have established the framework for
the new commission to operate.
New committee members would be selected to
run it and the existing committee would be dis-
solved, Morris said.
In his address, De Coteau said the newly- formed
commission would focus exclusively on addressing
youth issues and co-ordinating effective youth
services, emphasing throughout his speech: "For
every youth: A place, a purpose, a plan."
He said his background was in education, having
spent 46 years as part of the school system as a
teacher, principal and school supervisor before
"You see, youths have always been around (me).
And I really believe that they are the bedrock of
the nation," he added.
He described the commission as a flagship of
the institutional development strategy of the Nation-
al Youth Policy, covering organisational-related
mechanisms that would serve to achieve the mission,
goals and objectives of the policy.
"These institutional arrangements will co-ordinate
and implement youth service delivery in fulfilment
of the five Cs of youth development: Competence,
confidence, connection, character and caring," he
In its first six months, the committee is expected
to simply establish the commission.
According to De Coteau, in the first month an
Team gets six months to set up Youth Commission
inception report must be produced, out-
lining the institutional and organisational
arrangements which would facilitate the
successful establishment of the commis-
"In the following five months," De
Coteau said, "your energies will be focused
on establishing the commission."
This meant, he added, the formulation
of a philosophy, vision, mission, organi-
sational structure, governance arrange-
ments and preparation of an operational
Morris said the committee would meet
again next Tuesday and once a week for
the first month. Afterward, it will meet
once a month.
Deputy permanent secretary Patricia
Boyce-Diaz was appointed the committee s
chairman, while Jason Francis, director of
strategic alliances from the Ministry of
Justice was appointed deputy.
Other members include West Indies
cricket players Merissa Aguilleira and
Samuel Badree, and Tobago Youth Council
member Wayne James.
Clifton De Coteau
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