President Bharrat Jagdeo has re-affirmed the government’s commitment to the ideals of the Commonwealth and to working towards the common good. This was made in his message to mark Commonwealth Day, which was celebrated on Monday. This year’s activity was celebrated under the theme ‘the Commonwealth at Sixty–Serving a New Generation’.
In his Commonwealth Day address, President Jagdeo paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II “for her role as Head of the Commonwealth in furthering its principles and purposes within the wider Community of Nations.”
April 26, will mark the Sixtieth Anniversary of the modern Commonwealth as a free and equal association of 53 sovereign states consisting of nearly two billion people– half of whom are under the age of 25. Over these years, the Commonwealth members have certainly benefited from their ongoing consultations and cooperation in the common interests of their peoples and in the promotion of international understanding, the Head of State said.
Jagdeo said that the government continued to place the empowerment of the nation’s young people, high on its policy agenda. He stated that in this regard, government has identified as part of its priorities for this year, focuses on quality education, universal secondary education, inclusive education, school health and nutrition, teacher education and the development of managerial capacity within the sector, which represent the first year of the updated-five year National Education Strategic Plan. He said that to aid in the continuous implementation of these elements in the 2009 budget, $20. 4 billion was allocated to the education sector which includes the provision of $251 million to be spent on the National Literacy Programme. The President said that through the vehicle of education, it is the administration’s hope to confront the diverse challenges affecting the well-being of our youths and pave the way for the realization of the Millennium Development Goals.
Jagdeo stated that his administration will continue to cooperate with the Commonwealth of Nations and the international community as a whole toward the empowerment of Guyana’s youths and acknowledged the support of the Commonwealth Youth Programme which has been aiding capacity building of young people through strategic programme areas such as Youth Enterprise and Sustainable Livelihoods, the Commonwealth Youth Credit Initiative and Youth Ambassadors for Positive Living. All of these programmes, Jagdeo said, will be enhancing the ability of the youths of Guyana, to make informed decisions in their daily lives and equip them to play meaningful roles in the society.
The Head of State said that added impetus for the mutual realization of the Global Plan of Action for Youth Empowerment was seen in 2008, when the Commonwealth Youth Programme made a generous donation to the Carifesta Secretariat in support of the Carifesta Youth Business, a gesture for which the government is sincerely appreciative.