Prime minister of the Bahamas and chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Perry Christie, advocated for the region’s youth on Thursday urging that the CARICOM-US Summit “secure the future for our young people.” Co-chair of the summit along with president of the United States, Barack Obama, Christie addressed the opening ceremony that was held in Kingston, Jamaica. Remarks by host prime minister, Portia Simpson-Miller and Obama were also featured. The summit was held at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamaica.
Christie, channelling the significance of the CARICOM-US encounter with respect to youth development, said, “let there be no mistake today. Our mission is as great an opportunity as we can have in our time, to review the important issues of our time. At the core of the mission is that of the development of our people, to make their lives better, free from crime and violence; with incomes that support a good living for themselves and their families and to ensure a bright future for our young people.”
He shares that his mission was to “speak for our young people,” the future of the region. No other mission was so compelling than dispelling their sense of hopelessness, fixing joblessness, ensuring a good education, and helping them become part of formal economies”
Focusing on the growth of youth within the broader context of human development, Christie said, it must be done in a safe and secure environment.
Obama, who was looking forward to town hall meeting later in the day with the youth and for concrete actions to advance their development, echoed the CARICOM chair’s sentiments on the youth. Sharing Christie’s vision for the region’s youth, the US president said, “where spirit, innovation, boldness of the youth could be channelled in a positive direction, most countries succeed.”