Vanuatu Youths converge to unpack the Youth Vision


(Port Villa, Vanuatu, 29 February) – The Pacific Youth Movement, led by The University of the South Pacific Students Association (USPSA) in conjunction with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of the United Kingdom, continued its journey across the Blue Pacific to Port Villa Vanuatu as the youth, pacific leaders and drivers of change gathered to be a part of the second Regional Pacific Youth Seminar.

The event was graced by representatives from key government and non-government stakeholders, members of the Ombudsman’s office and the media.

The seminar saw the participation of over 65 stakeholders, 60 per cent of whom are women, focused on the Youth Vision for a Corruption Resilient 2050 Blue Pacific.

Guest of Honour and Key-Note Speaker the Director General of the Ministry of Justice and Community Services, Mr Russell Nari, during his remarks, addressed what he believed was the most pressing issue in the Pacific region, stating, “Corruption is arguably the most concerning issue within our region as it hinders all facets of sustainable development and threatens the very idea of peace and security in our blue pacific. It’s pleasing to see that UNDP representatives, Pacific Leaders, and members of our region’s best University are all present in unison with the future of the Pacific, our youth.”

“Today, we sit together. Tomorrow, we’ll walk together on the path towards a corruption-resilient blue Pacific. So events such as today’s seminar serve such an important role in the very development of our region. We must all know the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG 16, on peace, justice and strong institutions and its anti-corruption and good governance targets, which can act as a map that we’ll use as a route to our blue Pacific”.

Highlighting the United Kingdom’s support in the Student Associations’ Pacific Youth Movement, the British Deputy High Commissioner to Vanuatu, His Excellency Mr Michael Watters, attended the seminar and reiterated the importance of the region’s youth in the fight against Corruption.

“All of you present today have an important role in responding to this challenge (Corruption). The voice of young people can play a crucial role against Corruption.

This (voice) will help ensure resources go where needed and help strive for more inclusive, more informed and transparent decision-making processes”.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Office representative, Mr Donald, also graced the event and identified the significance of the seminar in the overall journey towards a Blue Pacific, and highlighted the impact of Youth Vision for a Corruption Resilient 2050 Blue Pacific (forged as a regionally documented tool during the Pacific Youth Summit in 2022) when he said “The vision demonstrates a clear demand from Pacific youth for a structured dialogue on good governance and anti-corruption, and further anchors youth ambitions in key regional strategic documents including the Teieniwa Vision”.

He further stated the Pacific Youth movement is a powerful statement and that “Pacific Youth will not tolerate corruption, and they demand a seat at the decision-making table, as was demonstrated at the 2023 Pacific Conference on Governance in Auckland”.

The Secretary General of the USPSA, whilst concluding the formal session of the seminar, reiterated the importance of the Youth Vision, adding, “The Youth Vision may only appear to be nine paragraphs on a Banner or pamphlet, but please understand that these nine paragraphs are visions that represent every single youth in our blue pacific as it transcends your voices, opinions and next cause of action into a single document and can be and will be used as a means to bridge the gap between the pacific leaders and pacific youths by acting as a messenger to relay your concerns”.

The Secretary-General further advocated for events of this ilk to become an annual event and that “We must strive to make regional events such as the Pacific Youth Summit, and today’s Regional Pacific Youth Seminar which is into its second, with the initial one taking place less than a year ago in Suva, Fiji.

“It will bring together our youths and leaders and allow them to become drivers of change who use the Youth Vision to achieve a Corruption Resilient Blue Pacific by 2050”.

The seminar had two interactive sessions, the first of which the USPSA Project’s team facilitated. Participants were put into groups of nine, each assigned a Youth Vision. The groups took their creative senses and illustrated what they believed was a stagnant blue pacific currently, then identified the ideal region they wished to live in the future, and also identified the challenges that persist in reaching their model blue pacific.

The second interactive session was facilitated by members of Integrity Fiji, who brought out the role-playing prowess of all groups and individuals when they presented forms of Corruption in the region with real-life situations that most Pacific islanders undergo daily.

The day concluded with a song on Corruption, performed by a local group who gave an emphatic rendition of their original song to close out the event.

USPSA’s continued partnership with the UNDP Pacific has seen the Pacific Youth Movement venture to numerous Pacific Island countries with a seminar of this level targeting youths, a first of its kind for Vanuatu under this prominent movement.

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