Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 20, 2023 (SKNIS): Junior Minister the Honourable Isalean Phillip officially launched the new Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Ageing and Disabilities at a brief but significant ceremony on February 20 at the Solid Waste Management Conference Room.
Junior Minister Phillip explained that the “mandate of the new Ministry is to support social developmental change through policies and programmes that are equitable and inclusive of vulnerable populations.”
“The Ministry’s work is, of course, guided by the principles of sustainable development by focusing on the socio-economic impacts of poverty, climate change, and inequality on the development and livelihoods of the youth, older persons and the differently abled as marginalized populations,” said Junior Minister Phillip. “This initiative promotes transgenerational relationships and connections that seek to foster understanding for more inclusion, greater tolerance and equity in all aspects of nation building.”
Junior Minister Phillip said that the aim for 2023 is to roll out several initiatives to further advance the work of the Ministry.
“We have a great focus and we seek to ultimately increase positive engagement and volunteerism among young people and we hope to do that by promoting youth groups, hosting events, coordinating activities with interest groups and stakeholders. Of course, we also plan to implement policy frameworks that enable inclusion. So we plan to see how we can establish and adopt the National Disability Policy, youth policy, elderly abuse policies,” she said. “We also plan to execute programmes that advance social development. We will be establishing our Elderly Day Care Center for seniors with the establishment of Golden Agers Social Club. We also seek to enhance data collection and evaluation to foster evidence-based decision making.”
Junior Minister Phillip expressed confidence in the team that is tasked with ensuring that these key initiatives of the Ministry will be carried out in full. She thanked the team for its hard work and support.
She also highlighted the support of international partners in the person of Cosbert Woods, Resident United Nations Country Coordinator, for endorsing the new Ministry. She noted that the Government “looks forward to the continued support of UN agencies and multi-agency partners who help to resource our work.”