Youths in the Solomon Islands and across the Pacific should have more participation in decision making.
There is no shortage of young people in the Solomon Islands with positive views on decision making and already advocating change for the better in terms of health, gender equality, women’s rights and climate change.
I gave just one example in a letter this week of one the contestants in the Miss Solomons Pageant speaking out about the preventative measure needed to prevent breast cancer in women. The same candidate is also an advocate for tackling the threat of climate change.
Across the Pacific the youth are becoming more assertive on important issues touching upon their lives and the lives of their families.
Last week, More than 80 young people attended the Pacific Youth Dialogue on Good Governance and Human Rights Conference in Nadi.
Radio New Zealand carried a report on the gathering, from which I quote:
“Fijian youth leader Broderick Mervyn, president of the Ignite4Change youth movement in Fiji, said young people should be able to call on their governments to respect the rule of law.
"We want to move away from that tokenistic approach and focus more on how we can participate and actively get engaged in decision-making - whether it be at the national level, regional level or international level."
“The Pacific Youth Dialogue was organised by the South Pacific Community (SPC) under its Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT) project.
The Director of the SPC's RRRT, Miles Young, told the youth leaders that such dialogues helped answer the question of how to effectively involve young Pacific Islanders in leadership, governance and human rights, in addressing the development issues confronting the region.
“Young people had also been at the forefront of the climate crisis, he said.
"For many years now, young Pacific Islanders have been climate activists, making meaningful contributions to awareness and understanding of climate change impacts and the need for action," he said.
"Many of us here are indeed part of this leadership."
I believe young people are vitally important when it comes to making decisions in the Solomon Islands affecting their future and it is my hope the DCGA will do more to reach out and embrace them far more than has occurred in the past.