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Kofi Annan at the Youth Visioning event, Mauritius 12th January 2005

On 12th January 2005, UN Secretary General, Mr. Kofi Annan, accompanied by Mrs. Nane Annan, and together with Director-General of UNESCO, Mr. Ko´chiro Matsuura, listened as 96 youth representatives from 31 SIDS and 6 island nations with other affiliations presented the results and outcomes from Youth Visioning for Island Living.

Meeting at Pointe aux Sables in Mauritius, the youth representatives had spent six days deliberating themes such as 'Life and love in islands', 'My island home' and 'Money in my pocket'. Their declaration, presented to the Main International Meeting for the Review of the Programme of Action for Small Island Developing States on the morning of 12th January 2005, recognised that youth have a specific and significant role to play in sustainable development especially as they have the experience of living in both traditional and modern settings. The youth called upon their governments, the private sector and civil society to help them play a significant role in decision making, to strengthen their role as environmental advocates and especially to assist them in securing viable job opportunities.

Not content with just a declaration, the youth representatives from each country committed themselves to solid community-based actions. These follow-up activities ranged from addressing the generational drift in culture and communications in Singapore to establishing a youth internship programme to promote youth employment in St. Kitts and Nevis, and from providing education about proper waste management practices in Kiribati to enhancing HIV/AIDS awareness in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Addressing the youth, Mr. Annan said 'I am happy to see you assume your responsibilities and that you are not content with slogans'. Mr. Annan was especially impressed by the youths' commitments to action and said 'You have the voice and the power'.

While the youth make their way home to their distant islands, they have already started submitting concrete proposals to implement their commitments under the Mauritius Youth Visioning declaration. Plans are underway to help support the youths' proposals.


To get involved, contact :


Coastal Regions and Small Islands Platform
UNESCO, Paris, France
fax: +33 1 45 68 58 08

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