The GMC hosts Haitian Youth Panel at the UN High-Level Meeting on Youth
The Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Ambassador Albert Ramdin, met with a cross section of youth from Haiti this week at the United Nations in New York, as the stakeholders from around the world participated in the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Youth.
The OAS official, who has worked extensively on several issues in Haiti, partnered with the Global Movement for Children (World Vision, Plan International, UNICEF) and KPMG to bring in nine young people from various parts of Haiti to discuss “the Role of Youth in Haiti’s Future.”
According to Assistant Secretary General Ramdin, “In a country where over 43% of the population is under the age of 18, young people need to be actively involved in determining the course of the country. They are the ones who will determine whether Haiti is able to realize its potential.”
The high-ranking diplomat also called on private sector groups in the region to consider new business development and education initiatives with the youth of Haiti in mind. “We need to create opportunities, and a climate in which these young people can believe in their own potential and abilities,” said Assistant Secretary General Ramdin.
Jean Ederson Alphonse, one of the Haitian youths who attended the UN event, spoke of the need for meaningful inclusion, as the international community partners with the government of Haiti on rebuilding efforts. “We want to be heard, not just seen. It is our country, we want the opportunity to move it forward,” said Alphonse, who suggested the formation of an active youth parliament. Other Haitian youths pointed out that access to education, skills training and jobs were still severely limited.
Special Representative of the Government of Haiti Daniel Supplice welcomed the discussions with the youth and the OAS officials during the UN meeting, saying his government is determined to work with the international community to ensure more opportunities are found for Haiti’s large youth population. “Haiti’s long term stability is dependent on you,” Supplice told the youth.