Mon | Oct 23, 2017

Jamaican selected as Commonwealth youth rep

Published:Saturday | March 12, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Jamaica Youth Ambassador Sujae Boswell is among two Caribbean nationals who have been elected to the Commonwealth Youth Council, representing national youth bodies from 53 countries. Boswell was elected as regional representative for the Caribbean and the Americas. Nikoli Jean-Paul Edwards from Trinidad and Tobago will serve as vice-chairperson for policy, advocacy and projects.

Boswell has risen from the volatile community of Hendon Norwood in St James to become one of Jamaica's most promising young stars. A passionate advocate for his fellow youth, Boswell has collaborated on numerous projects with the Ministry of Youth and Culture, the Ministry of Education, Operations Just for Cause, UNESCO, and the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission.

Though elected in November 2015 at the second general assembly of the Commonwealth Youth Council in Malta, the team will officially assume office during the Commonwealth celebrations in London. Boswell, who is the youngest elected member in the council's history, will depart for London on March 12.

Kishva Ambigapathy, a youth leader and engineering student from Malaysia, was chosen as chairperson and will be supported by an executive committee of other elected youth leaders, including representatives of Africa and Europe, Asia, the Caribbean and Americas, and Pacific regions.

The Commonwealth Youth Council is a coalition of national youth councils and other youth-led bodies and is a recognised voice of the more than 1.2 billion young people aged 29 or under in Commonwealth member countries.

RESPONSIBILITIES

The nine-person executive is responsible for advocating on behalf of young people on issues such as employment, health and climate change, and encouraging youth-led action on development challenges throughout the Commonwealth. Its two-year mandate runs until 2017.

One of the new executive's first tasks will be to present recommendations and priorities of the 400 youth leaders who attended the Youth Forum and General Assembly to Commonwealth leaders.

The Commonwealth Youth Council was first established in 2013 with the support of the Commonwealth Secretariat. It was endorsed by Commonwealth heads of government at their biennial summit in Sri Lanka that year as an autonomous, youth-led organisation.