September 18, 2020

Cayman Islands Premier opens Youth Parliament

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IMG_8749Welcome to opening of  Youth Parliament
By Premier Alden McLaughlin, MBE, JP, MLA
10 a.m., Monday, 9 March, 2015 Legislative Assembly
Good morning and welcome to these distinguished Chambers of the House of the Legislative Assembly.
I am pleased to see that 25 students from Government and private high schools, including Cayman Brac, have worked together to ensure the success of this day and have gathered to engage in important, lesson-teaching discourse.
As you are aware, the theme of today is A Young Commonwealth. As you deliberate your two motions – one on an amendment to the Sunday Trading Law and the other on a Mentoring Programme in Public High Schools – you will be commemorating Commonwealth Day, which is celebrated annually on the second Monday in March.
I was happy to have welcomed Leshontae Missick who is serving today as Premier, Speaker of the House Henry Hill and Opposition Leader Shaquille Henry as they shadowed me at the Government Administration Building.
We actually have two past Youth Parliamentarians – Jamal Young and Amber Caum – representing Cayman today at the Commonwealth celebration at Westminster in London.
I know that the Commonwealth’s 53 member countries have a combined population of more than 2 billion, of which more than 60 per cent are younger than age 30.
It’s a demographic that is certain to increase, which means we cannot have honest discussions about the future without taking into account young people’s needs, aspirations and challenges.
This Government, as well as the Commonwealth, sees young people as assets who should be empowered to realise their potential and contribute fully to national development.
We need to do all we can to assist young people to help them understand political participation and parliamentary democracy through practical experience through endeavours such as the one they engage in today. It is incumbent on us as today’s leaders and adults to give them the opportunity to acquire or improve on the many necessary skills required not only in running the affairs of state, but in daily commerce and indeed life such as debate, presentation, public speaking, research and organisational skills.
Those skills are certain to be honed today when those of you who support Sunday trading go toe-to-toe with your detractors. I look forward to hearing your spirited debate on the subject. Thank you, Aquinnah Ebanks, the 4th Elected Member for West Bay, for moving the motion and Mckayla Cupid, the 1st Elected Member for Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, for seconding the motion.
Likewise, the Leader of Opposition and 1st Elected Member for George Town Shaquille Henry is to be commended for bringing forward his Private Members Motion for a Mentoring Programme in Public High Schools. Danyelle Williams, the 6th Elected Member for George Town, is set to second that motion. Thank you both. Again, I expect a lively debate and eagerly await the outcome.
Through today’s exercise we will see that young people are empowered when they acknowledge that they have or can create choices in life, are aware of the implications of those choices, make informed decisions freely, take action based on those decisions and accept responsibility for the consequences of those actions; and I promise you, there will always be consequences.
The Commonwealth mission is to empower, engage and create value so that young women and men can contribute to the economic, social and cultural advancement of their families and countries as well as their own fulfilment. It’s a mission I wholeheartedly support.
Today’s theme of A Young Commonwealth brings to mind a quote from Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan: “No one is born a good citizen; no nation is born a democracy. Rather, both are processes that continue to evolve over a lifetime. Young people must be included from birth. A society that cuts off from its youth severs its lifeline.”
It is my pleasure to welcome you all to this 8th Youth Parliament on this Commonwealth Day 2015. I thank the many sponsors for their support of this propitious event for the young people of our beloved Cayman Islands. I also wish to thank the CPA Cayman Islands Branch and the dedicated subcommittee members and the youth parliamentarians, all of whom have worked extremely hard over the past few weeks preparing for today.
And so it is now my distinct pleasure and privilege to turn over these distinguished Chambers to this assembly of articulate and erudite young people from all across the Cayman Islands and to declare the 8th Youth Parliament of the Cayman Islands officially opened.
Thank you.
IMAGE:
Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin officially opened Youth Parliament in the Cayman Islands on Monday, 9 March, 2015.

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