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Renwick Rose re-elected chairman of CPDC

Renwick Rose re-elected chairman of CPDC

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Veteran Vincentian social activist Renwick Rose, has been re-elected chairman of the Caribbean Policy Development Centre (CPDC), the umbrella body for Caribbean NGOs. His re-election took place when the CPDC held its Biennial Assembly in St Lucia last week.{{more}}

This year’s Assembly devoted much attention to the alarming rate of violent deaths among young people in the region.

This was brought out quite graphically in the words of one of the delegates: “There is an undeclared war which is claiming the lives of young people in the Caribbean, but no one seems to be taking any notice.” The representative from the Caribbean Rastafari Organisation (CRO) stated that while attention was turned to wars happening internationally, the Caribbean was paying little attention to the war among people, young men in particular, which was happening right on our doorsteps.

Delegates to the Biennial Members Assembly called for greater attention to be paid to the impact of crime and violence on the lives, chances and opportunities of young people, especially young men in the Caribbean. Moreover, representatives firmly believed that there should be a coordinated response, involving not only governments but NGOs as well, in order to more aggressively tackle the myriad social problems which pose a threat to young people including sexual abuse, exploitation and lack of employment opportunities.

According to the CPDC executive director Shantal Munro-Knight : “We are in danger of losing the productive capacities of our young people and until we arrest this problem, we will be faced with what could become our biggest development challenge today. Without young people who are engaged and participating positively in society, the future will be in question”.

Participants also called attention to the continuing disengagement of young people in many areas of social and economic development, pointing to the negative election trends of vote buying and continued disengagement in governance processes. Ms Munro-Knight appealed for meaningful inclusion of young people in the governance process in the region:

“We need to look for strategies to get our young people to understand their civil rights, the importance of their voice. The quality of the democracy which we cherish so much in the Caribbean will be under threat, unless we engage positively with our young people.”

The Biennial Assembly of the CPDC elected a new board of directors, which was given a mandate to carry forward the work of the organization. The five-member board comprises : Renwick Rose, WINFA (re-elected as chairman), Reginald Burke, Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN), Sheila Ketwaru, Bureau NGOs, Suriname, Marissa Mohammed, Caribbean Network for Integrated Rural Development, Rodney Grant, Barbados Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (BANGO).

The Assembly also approved a Resolution giving support to the OECS integration process and calling for the greater involvement of the people at all levels.

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