Public Relations Officer
Office of the House of Assembly
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Chairman of the Virgin Islands Youth Parliament (VIYP) Honourable Sharie B. de Castro will lead a two member team to the 11th Commonwealth Youth Parliament (CYP) to be held in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago from November 20 to 24.
The 11th CYP will be hosted by the Parliament of the twin island republic on behalf of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Caribbean, Atlantic and Americas Region. This year’s theme is titled, ‘Youth Involvement in Parliamentary Democracy’ and will be the first physical event since the 10th CYP in New Delhi, India in November 2019.
Honourable de Castro, who was appointed Chairman of the Virgin Islands Youth Parliament in March 2022, will be accompanied by two current Youth Parliamentarians, Mr. Stephon Mactavious and Ms. Donyelle Hodge at this year’s session.
"This is an exciting time for our youth,” Honourable de Castro said, adding that they are the ones who are essential to the strengthening of our region and economies. “Our youth will be given an opportunity to experience democracy and good governance, through the lens of parliamentary work,” the minister said.
The week-long programme is intended to inform potential future parliamentarians of the principles of the legislative process and is expected to offer a significant development opportunity for young people from the Commonwealth with ambitions of public service.
“As a mentor, I will support the participants in their angles used in the debate, their use and adherence to the standing orders of the mock parliament, and their scrutiny of the bill. The criteria to be a mentor is an elected member under the age 35. The mentors, therefore, act as role models in being young Parliamentarians themselves,” Honourable de Castro further stated.
Participants who attend the CYP will be afforded a Pan-Commonwealth experience and a networking opportunity with other participants from across the Commonwealth as well as with current Members of Parliament from different jurisdictions who act as mentors throughout the week.
The Commonwealth Youth Parliament brings together participants aged 18 to 29 representing the nine CPA Regions including Africa; Asia; Australia; British Islands and Mediterranean; Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic; Canada; India; Pacific and South-East Asia.