Commonwealth Day Symposium Hosted

Date Published: 
Monday, March 11, 2013

On Monday, 11 March 2013, the Commonwealth family celebrated Commonwealth Day. Under the theme the "Opportunity through Enterprise", a Youth Symposium was hosted by the National Youth Council of Jamaica (NYCJ) at the Jamaica Conference Centre.  Jamaica joined the 54 countries of the Commonwealth in celebrating the enterprising spirit which unlocks opportunities in small rural communities, large urban centres, businesses, governments and civil society.

The Guest Speaker for the Symposium was Senator the Honorable A.J. Nicholson, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade. Senator Nicholson stated that Jamaica remains firm in its commitment to the aims and objectives of the Commonwealth. He further noted “We will continue to work along with our fellow Commonwealth brothers and sisters to take the necessary actions to strengthen the important collaboration that exists among Commonwealth member stateswill speak to the relevance of Jamaica's participation in the Commonwealth of Nations."

Lecturer in Social Entrepreneurship and Strategic Planning at the University of the West Indies, Dr. K'adamawe K'nife, delivered a strong presentation to the 200 students in attendance, as he encouraged them to be innovators and change agents. Dr. K'nife presented four scenarios depicting meaningful opportunities for sustainable economic development. He challenged Government and youth to put the necessary measures in place to capitalise on these opportunities. 

The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 54 independent countries, working together towards shared goals in democracy and development. These include the promotion of democracy, human rights, good governance, the rule of law, free trade and multilateralism. Member countries come from six regions: Africa, Asia, the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe, and the South Pacific. Jamaica currently has two youth ambassadors to the Commonwealth through the Jamaica Youth Ambassadors Programme (JaYAP) - Mr. Prince Booth and Ms. Maxsalia Salmon.

Commonwealth Day, which is celebrated on the second Monday in March each year, is used as a time to promote understanding on global issues and international co-operation.

Technical and financial support for the Symposium was provided by the National Centre for Youth Development, the Planning Institute of Jamaica and First Heritage Cooperative Credit Union