Remarks by Ambassador Lynch at International Youth Day Virtual Webinar

Remarks as prepared
Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch
International Youth Day Virtual Webinar
August 12, 2022

Honorable Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Charles Ramson
Vice Chair of the National Toshao Council, Sonia Latchman and other youth panelists
Guyana National Youth Council President, Dr. Quacy Grant
Youth Challenge Executive Director, Dmitri Nicholson
Guyana Council of Organizations for People with Disabilities, Program Coordinator, Ganesh Singh
International Foundation for Electoral Systems Country Director, Meredith Applegate
Youth Representatives
Attendees all

Happy International Youth Day to everyone!

I’m pleased to have this opportunity to celebrate this important day with you, and take time to hear from inspiring youth leaders across Guyana.

Youth leaders have been solving critical problems in their communities and making these communities stronger.

The enthusiasm of young Guyanese to meet challenges head on and be a positive force in Guyana’s development is essential if the country’s development is to reflect the aspirations of ALL Guyanese. In many cases, the new opportunities present in Guyana today, will require you to learn skills that your parents or grandparents may not have ever imagined.  But when everyone is working collectively to achieve a common vision, the end result is sure to benefit the collective.

The theme for this year’s International Youth Day- Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages- seems timely— and consistent with the thrust of shared responsibilities, work, and destinies.

If we recognize the assets that each person has, regardless of age, then we are better positioned to create and continue a positive transformation.  This positive transformation isn’t just of ourselves, but of our families, of our communities, of our countries and of our world.

As we work on this transformation, we need to provide the opportunity and space for youth to articulate what challenges they face, then devise and implement solutions to those challenges.  We have to encourage youth, and also provide you a space to lead.

Through various initiatives in Guyana, the U.S. Government has supported the empowerment of youth. The Youth ALLIES (or Youth Advocacy, Linkages and Leadership in Elections and Society) program is one of these initiatives which has engaged with youth throughout Guyana to ensure that all youth, including marginalized groups, are able to voice their priorities. The program helps give youth a voice but also the space to lead.  We want youth to feel that participation in political and civic processes is a path to solving problems.

Today’s event will highlight the work of some of those youth partners.

I applaud all the youth who will be sharing their experiences during today’s discussions. I also want to recognize the many other youth working tirelessly to improve not only their own lives, but those of their peers, and others around them.

Worldwide there are 2.4 billion youth between the ages of 10 and 29, this is the largest youth cohort ever.  Development can be accelerated when the majority of these youth, in any community or country, are able to make significant contributions to address challenges.  Whether it is creating jobs, innovating, or helping others, your ideas and your actions will always be an important part of helping Guyana and the world move forward.

I’m proud that the U.S. Government has been unwavering in our partnerships with youth and I look forward to continuing to be inspired by you, the youth of Guyana.

Thank you and do enjoy today’s events.