Minister Lourens Closing Speech At Youth Round Table Conference


Minster of Education, Culture, Youth & Sports

3rd Youth Round Table Conference has as its theme: "Youth – The Key to Social Enhancement" 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Good evening,

Protocol: (students from Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Martin and Sint Maarten, staff of the Department of Youth Affairs, representatives from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth & Sports, ladies and gentlemen),

After a full day of round table discussions on Thursday, we have now reached the climax of our conference coming to an end, but at the same time, a new page opens up with respect to the report that has been compiled at the end of all your deliberations.

It is a great pleasure to have had you here to discuss together the issues that concern you, and that should be part and parcel of our country’s sustainable development.

I am very confident that we all have fully lived up to the expectations, and now this evening we are able to enjoy ourselves after those discussions that took place yesterday.

Thursday was an occasion, an unparalleled opportunity to strengthen the ties between you young people and the government establishment where the power of decision over youth policies and more are created.

This 3rd Youth Round Table Conference can close on the note and feeling that our expectations were not in vain.

You have had the opportunity to share experiences, to listen to committed voices, and from there build solutions to solve problems and pave a positive upward momentum in how to deal with challenges from your perspective.

With the organization of this conference, you have had the opportunity to observe a clear political desire, that the young people of this young country, should, themselves, be players in a process that concerns you so deeply, and be able to contribute to nation building and national development in a sustainable manner.

It is now necessary for all stakeholders to work together to put into practice the wealth of ideas, suggestions and commitments that you have conceived during the course of Thursday.

This is when the work begins. As the theme says, "Youth – The Key to Social Enhancement;" you have done your work in formulating a vision which can be translated into policies.

I can promise you that the conference document will be circulated to the members of the Council of Ministers for their perusal.

It will then be discussed in a Council of Ministers meeting to see how these ideas can be translated into everyday policy making.

I will also forward a copy of the conference document to the President of Parliament who will be asked to circulate it to the Members of Parliament with the request of what role parliament can play in looking at the mid to long-term utilization of your ideas in preparing new legislation or adjusting existing legislation.

This conference document will also be circulated to the Secretary Generals of the seven Ministries to see how and where your ideas can be included in policy making.

In the end, as Minister of Youth Affairs, I will come back to you, to give you an update on how we as Government has progressed with the inclusion of your ideas in government’s policy making process.

With great appreciation and heartfelt gratitude, I would like to thank each one of you for the work done throughout this process.

Each one of you is truly nation builders.

Your contribution has built a foundation for Government, for Parliament, and other stakeholders to build upon in the interests of you the youth.

Thank you

Patricia Lourens-Philip

Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports