Speaker of the House of Assembly the Hon. Dr. Kendal Major admonished participants in the Youth Parliament 2013 to get involved in providing answers to issues The Bahamas is facing.
“If we want to know what’s happening to the young people with unemployment, with the lack of education and in some areas with crime, we need to speak to you because you have the answers. You are the experts in your division. This is an opportunity to be solutions, to be answers and to effect the positive change that this country has come to depend on,” he said.
The Speaker was among legislators welcoming Youth Parliament participants to the chambers of the House of Assembly Friday, July 26 at the 14th Youth Parliament exercise.
The purpose of Youth Parliament is to expose Bahamian youth to parliamentary procedures and current issues affecting youth development. Young persons are selected and trained to make presentations in the House of Assembly.
The event was organised by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture as part of the country’s 40th Independence celebrations. The Youth Parliament resolution included debate on a National Youth Agenda focusing on youth policy, youth institutions and youth in education.
“We’re becoming far too independent and I think we need to become more dependent on God. Our principles, and in some ways we’ve lost our moral compass. We look to you to assist our country in bringing us back to the place where we ought to be,” the Speaker added.
Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Works the Hon. Philip “Brave” Davis told participants that it is important that they are exposed to the workings of democracy and the fundamentals of the nation are known.
He said he is happy to see that the country’s future is bright and invited the next generation of leaders to participate and not sit idly by and allow “bad” apples to detract and discourage them from what is best.
Before debate began in the chambers, junior Governor-General, Camille Minns, delivered the Speech from the Throne, outlining the implementation of a national youth policy and participated in an inspection of the color guard led by members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force Cadets and the Royal Bahamas Defence Force Rangers. The Urban Renewal Band provided entertainment.
Youth, Sports and Culture Minister the Hon. Daniel Johnson also welcomed the youth parliamentarians. Minister of State in the Ministry of Works, the Hon. Renward Wells, director of youth Darren Turnquest, government officials, family members and tourists were among those in attendance.