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Youth ministry celebrates J'cans elected to Commonwealth Youth Council executive

Thursday, April 19, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Jamaican Tijani Christian has been elected to chair the Commonwealth Youth Council for the 2018 -2020 period.

Another Jamaican, Michelle Thomas, was elected to the executive as representative — special interest groups.

According to a release from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Christian, 26, has served in a number of youth leadership capacities including as Jamaica's youth ambassador to the Commonwealth; special advisor to the National Youth Council of Jamaica (2014 – 2016); president of the UWISTAT Vice Chancellor's Ambassador Corps, Mona Chapter (2014) and member of the CARICOM Single Market & Economy (CSME) Spokesperson Bureau.

Thomas, an attorney at law, has served on Jamaica's Youth Advisory Council, is a past student of the St Andrew High School for Girls and the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill campus, where she obtained her Bachelor of Law degree.

During her university tenure, she was elected to serve on the Guild of Students (student governing body) as a result of her strong leadership and interpersonal skills. She was also awarded a co-curricular scholarship based on her involvement and leadership capabilities at the university level.

Both Christian and Thomas honed their leadership skills through programmes run by the ministry. State Minister in the ministry, Floyd Green, in congratulating Christian and Thomas said: "All our representatives truly flew our flag high and displayed some of the best qualities of Jamaican youth. They have made their county and region proud and I celebrate them. Special congratulations to Tijani and Michelle who I know will provide stellar service to the CYC and will leave an indelible mark. The ministry stands ready to assist."

The Commonwealth Youth Council was established in 2013 with the support of the Commonwealth Secretariat's Commonwealth Youth Programme and endorsed by Commonwealth Heads of Government at that year's summit in Sri Lanka as an “autonomous, youth-led organisation” to advocate on behalf of over two billion young people in the Commonwealth.

The council is led by a nine-member executive serving a two-year term, and acts as a coalition of national youth councils and other youth-led civil society and private sector bodies from across the 53 member countries of the Commonwealth.

The highest decision making body for the CYC is the General Assembly and is made up of national youth delegates representing National Youth Councils from each member state and youth-led organisations. The CYC represents young people in international decision-making processes, including the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, at the UN and with national governments.

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