PRESS RELEASE NATIONAL YOUTH CONSULTATIONS People's National Congress Reform Congress Place, Sophia, Georgetown, Guyana. Monday, February 6, 2006

The People’s National Congress Reform and its youth arm, the Guyana Youth and Student Movement (GYSM) held a National Youth Consultation and Reception on Saturday, February 4, 2006 at the King’s Plaza Hotel on Main Street, Georgetown. The Consultation was attended by some 400 youths from most of the 10 Regions of the country. Also in attendance were Mrs. Carol Corbin, wife of the PNCR Leader, other executive members of the Party including Mr. Winston Murray CCH, MP, Party Chairman, Mrs. Deborah Backer, Vice-Chairman, Mr. Oscar Clarke, General Secretary, Mr. Stanley Ming MP, Mr. Joseph Hamilton, MP, Mrs. Volda Lawrence MP, Chairman of the Human Services Department and Mr. Aubrey Norton who acted as facilitator of the discussions.

The proceedings was chaired by Ms. Supriya Singh, member of the Central Executive Committee and Director of the Public Relations Department of the Party. Presentations were made by the Chairman of the Party, Mr. Winston Murray, CCH, MP, Mr. Ronald Austin Jr, and the Leader of the People's National Congress Reform, Mr. Robert Corbin MP.

In a brief welcome address, Mr. Murray said that the size of the gathering give him a sense of optimism in so far as it indicated that young people were prepared to get involved in the political process. He urged them to register so that their interest in national affairs can be taken into account. Young people will determine the future of Guyana and the changes which were necessary to make it a better country. The PNCR Chairman urged the young people present to speak frontally and boldly about what might be wrong, so that the PNCR would be in a position to take account of their concerns in drafting future policy.

Addressing the question of young people in the 21st Century, Ronald Austin Jr, referred to the current difficulties affecting young people, such as joblessness and the impact of the consumer and material culture of the western world. These things are a barrier to young people realising their full potential. There had to be a change in the social, economic and political if young people were really to come in to their own. Mr. Austin referred in particular to the need of greater foreign investment to ensure that jobs are available for young people. The political culture also had to change if stability has to become a reality. Political stability, the employment and a culture informed by seriousness can guarantee young people a happy and contented existence.

Giving the main address, the Leader of the PNCR said that a PNCR Government would restore confidence on the part of the business community in the economy by creating a environment that is friendly to investment and investors. This he said will not only establish a vibrant economy but will also ensure that young people graduating from the University can obtain jobs and remain in Guyana instead of seeking “greener pastures” overseas. He noted that this was the first of several consultations which will take place across the country and will involve young people across party lines. It is intended to be part of the analysis of national problems facing Guyana generally and young people in particular. He urged that a structured programme should come out of the consultation and this should be submitted to the executive of the Party for its consideration.

A new PNCR Government will also carry on the tradition of the Party of training a cadre of professional people who can help in the resolution of problems. In respect of training, Mr. Corbin said that his Party would ensure that those who seek an opportunity to qualify themselves are not denied the right to go on to University. Also, the PNCR will ensure that all those who graduate from University can, if they so wish, obtain a scholarship to study overseas. A sound education must not be the sole prerogative of the wealthy. Mr. Corbin noted that while most of the young professionals went overseas there was no corresponding inflow of professionals into Guyana, mainly because of the condition of the economy. The weak economy caused a high level of unemployment and this was of a particular concern to the PNCR.

The PNCR will not function as a Government which pretends that it is the fount of all knowledge. Such a Government will be open and amenable to the widest cross section of views and “eager to embrace those ideas and recommendations that are deserving of consideration. It did not matter from what political quarters those ideas came.” Urging the young people to discharge their duty, the PNCR Leader said that his Party is ready to discharge its duty to the young men and women of this country.

The discussions were lively and a number of young people raised questions about their future and their well being. A reception was held at the end of the consultations.

People's National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia,
Georgetown, Guyana.
Monday, February 6, 2006