These were the views of the team from the Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP) Pacific Centre, who recently returned from Fiji, after completing a successful regional consultation mission with their partner youth agencies.
“Our team was overwhelmed by the positive response and support displayed by our regional partners, to meet and discuss potential areas of cooperation and to improve the work we all do for young people in the region,” CYP Pacific Centre Regional Director, Ms Afu Billy said
She said the visit was timely due to the Commonwealth’s current strategic plan ending and there being a requirement to begin planning for the next strategic plan period (2012-2016).
“Also, with the UN Agencies’ recent completion of their revised UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), these consultations will inform their future plan outlining their programme focus areas for the period 2013 - 2017.”
Furthermore, Ms Billy said that her team was greatly pleased to hear that the UN Agencies and most of CYP’s regional partners are going to place more emphasis and focus on youth in their future development plans.
“Youth development in the Pacific has never before received as much attention as it is now receiving by international and regional youth agencies.
“The willingness of agencies to talk partnership and to verbally agree in principal to working relationships, was both pleasing and most assuredly will improve the planning and delivery mechanisms agencies currently employ in the youth sector,” she said.
She said uppermost in CYP staff thinking was the opportunity to explore ways in which regional partner agencies might work with CYP to improve the youth development delivery platform.
“This has been weak, due in part to individual agencies (including CYP), having their own set agendas. However, an agreement was made by partners who attended the ‘Commonwealth Pacific Young Leaders Conference’ (held Brisbane, October, 2011) to develop a ‘Pacific Youth development Framework’.
“As a result, there is a clear strategic directive that all agencies must work smarter, share resources and skill sets to achieve more for the young women and men of the region.”
The team met with UN agencies including the UNDP, UNICEF, ILO, UNESCO, UN Women and UNAIDS; UN Working Group for Youth (UNWGY), the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), the Pacific Leadership Programme (PLP), the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF), the Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT) and the Pacific Youth Council (PYC).
Ms Billy on behalf of the CYP Pacific Centre thanked the regional partners for their cooperation and support provided to them during their regional mission and looks forward to confirmed specific areas of collaboration for implementation.
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