Event underlines importance of youth in election

Wednesday May 16, 2018 Written by Published in Politics
Cook Islands Red Cross Society representative Maria Maoate pays close attention to the discussions. 18051504 Cook Islands Red Cross Society representative Maria Maoate pays close attention to the discussions. 18051504

Youths from the southern group islands as well as northern group islands representatives residing in Rarotonga have gathered for the Cook Islands Youth Parliament which started yesterday at Sinai Hall.

The three-day event targeting Cook Islanders aged 18-35, aims to increase awareness of the importance of Cook Islands youth voting in the election on June 14.

It is also raising awareness on the processes of the government, planting an interest amongst Cook Islands youth in politics and providing a platform for youth to be involved in political discussions and processes.

In her opening remarks, the president of the Cook Islands National Youth Council, Sieni Tiraa, said the workshop was part of the “Elect” Youth Parliament programme which is supported by the Social Impact Fund (government) and the United Nations Development Programme. She said it was administered by the council in order to empower youth to be active citizens by learning and appreciating more the process of election and the dynamics of decision-making at the highest level.

The Cook Islands Youth Parliament will include a two-day workshop which aims to explain the processes which occur within parliament during election time.

Workshops will deliver a range of presentations from politicians, parliamentarians and those who have been active in encouraging youth participation in politics.

Some of the topics that will be covered include creating a political manifesto, learning about government structure, the Cook Islands Constitution, the electoral process, and how a parliament sitting works.

Yesterday, participants had the opportunity to learn more about the hotly-debated Crimes Bill 2017.

Participants will also get a chance to visit parliament house on the final day on Thursday, where they will meet with Speaker of the House Niki Rattle, and take part in a debate on the Crimes Bill in the setting of a parliamentary sitting.

“We extend a big meitaki maata to our sponsors and supporters to all our families and the community for your continued support towards the positive development of our youth,” Tiraa said.

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