United Nations Youth Advisory Group Better Equipped to Support the Barbados and Eastern Caribbean Sub-Regional Team


Meaningful youth engagement remains central to attaining the Sustainable Development Goals, and as such, the United Nations Barbados and Eastern Caribbean has stepped up efforts to not only work for youth, but to work with them to amplify their voices.

Guided by Youth2030, the UN’s global Youth Strategy, members of the UN’s regional Youth Advisory Group (YAG), were recently hosted in Barbados for a two-day youth orientation and training workshop, organized by the United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office. It was held under the theme: “Promoting Meaningful Youth Engagement”.

The forum exposed the youth leaders and advocates to the UN’s key programming instruments for the region.

These included its 2022 – 2026 Multi-Country Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (MSDCF), which provides a blueprint for UN development assistance, as well as tailored Country implementation Plans (CIPs) that operationalize commitments at the country level in alignment with national priorities. The workshop also focused on the principles of meaningful, transformative, and responsible engagement.

Among the highlights of the training initiative was an enriching engagement between the youth, the Resident Coordinator, senior UN Agency officials and the Secretary General Office of the Youth Envoy. This discussion focused on identifying strategic opportunities for youth to be more meaningfully engaged in the work of UN agencies, funds, and programmes.

“As the UN, we pride ourselves on Leaving No One Behind; and we want to not only ensure that we include you, but that we see you, and hear exactly what you have to say. Integrating your opinions isn’t just about checking a box or being tokens, but about bringing your experiences and collective judgement with us on the journey to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals”, Resident Coordinator, Didier Trebucq told the youth.

The newly appointed Chair of the YAG, Tyeisha Emmanuel of Anguilla, described the workshop as “enlightening” and an “encouraging move” by the United Nations to invest in young people in the Caribbean who have much to offer. “We are a diverse group with different skill sets, interests, and experiences, who are honored to work with the UN to help to transform our economies in a sustainable manner,” she added.

Held at the Accra Beach Hotel, the workshop not only provided an opportunity for young people to learn more about the UN’s work, values, and principles, but also for the UN to glean greater insight into their values, perspectives, and priorities. A key output was the development of the 2023 YAG Work Plan that outlines specific initiatives aimed at supporting the collective work of the UN.

Participants came from Barbados, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts & Nevis, and Saint Vincent & the Grenadines.

The YAG was first established in 2022 to serve as a sounding board for the UN Barbados and Eastern Caribbean Multi-Country Office, and by extension provide  an opportunity for youth to play an active and meaningful role in the sustainable development of the sub-region, working in close partnership with the UN Sub-regional team.

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