By Robert A. Emmanuel
The National Youth Parliament Association of Antigua and Barbuda (NYPAAB) has called on all successful politicians and political parties at last week’s general elections to fulfil their campaign promises for youth development.
The general election was enveloped by campaign promises of youth empowerment and youth inclusion in political decision-making.
The United Progressive Party (UPP), in its manifesto, said it would increase youth involvement in leadership positions including at least 25 percent of senators, members on boards of statutory corporations and all major committees with at least 10 percent of all Chairpersons and Vice-Chairpersons being youth.
The UPP manifesto also committed to meeting “once per quarter” with the National Youth Council and “give considerations to the recommendations” of the National Youth Council and National Youth Parliament.
The manifesto also pressed for the creation of National Youth Advocates assigned to each Ministry to “ensure that the needs of the youth are being met and promised time-lines are kept”.
“Youth in Antigua and Barbuda received assurances from all political parties that youth development would be an absolute priority,” the NYPAAB, in its press release said.
“Parties promised that once elected, more young persons would be able to serve as senior civil servants, diplomats, board chairs and parliamentarians.
“We trust that parties will hold fast to their promises while creating more avenues for young people to feed into the national decision-making process.”
Meanwhile, the Antigua Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) focused its campaign on its past accomplishments stating that the party has “put young women in their 20s into the Senate, the National Assembly and the Cabinet”.
The ABLP promised that young people will be appointed to Boards of statutory corporations.
“That is the kind of Next Level commitment which the ABLP government is making—and will continue to make—to the youth of our country who are part of our present and integral to our future,” the ABLP stated in its manifesto.
Persons between the ages of 15 and 35 are categorised as youth.