Dear Editor – Speaking to Radio New Zealand’s Pacific Correspondent, Koroi Hawkins, last week. Osnat Lubrani, the UNDP Representative for the Pacific, spoke of a new UN report which has highlighted a demographic report which he claimed as saying the Pacific has a unique opportunity to accelerate growth by investing in its youth.
Mr Lubrani was quoted as saying, “What the opportunity is for the Pacific is that if you integrate demographics into your planning then there is a great opportunity for really having this shift become a driver for economic development because when you have more people who are of working age that is the opportunity where you can have more taxes more savings and really getting the countries richer.
If you miss that opportunity the risk is that the countries will become old before they become rich.
So that is basically where it is important to integrate that policy thinking and investments into development planning beyond the electoral cycle. It has to be longer term thinking.”
In response to a question about the Pacific’s past ability to implement long term policies, posed by Mr Hawkins, Mr Lubrani responded by saying,, “I think there are lots of opportunities to focus on their implementation. I can already share with you that countries are very engaged now in 2016 and very eager to move forward.
I also want to say it is interesting what happened last year is that there was a lot of focus not just in terms of the adoption of the sustainable development goals but also the conclusions from the financing for development agenda that really tried to not just talk about what you need to do but also on how are you going to fund it.
How do you need to put that planning into place and not just look at development aid but at domestic resources in the private sector and more partnerships?”
(Source: Radio New Zealand International (RNZI) All Rights Reserved).
It is at this point that I believe, on reflection, that the DCCG’s newly announced National Development Strategy (NDS) for 2016-2035 fully underscores what Mr Lubrani was forecasting as being necessary to aid sustainable development in terms of the economy and be beneficial to human opportunities in the Solomon Islands.
Playing a small part still, but having an important role, in investing in youth is the project [email protected] which is facilitated by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, in partnership and supported by funding from the Queens Young Leaders Programme (UK), the Australian Government Aid Programme, the Pacific Leadership Programme and Plan International.
The Implementation of the youth project is done in partnership with the Solomon Islands Ministry of National Unity, Peace and Reconciliation, the Ministry of Commerce, Industries, Labour and Immigration, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs.
This project is seen as an important initiative to tackle youth unemployment in Solomon Islands and to help youths find pathways to employment and entrepreneurship.