Bermudians backed at Commonwealth conference

Two young Bermudians have won backing at a Commonwealth youth forum to give UK Overseas Territories delegates voting rights.

Ryan Robinson Perinchief and Russell Lister proposed a motion to amend the Commonwealth Youth Council constitution to allow Overseas Territories to have full membership and vote in council debates which passed by a vote of 67 per cent to 33 per cent.

Mr Perinchief said: “We were grateful to receive majority support for our recommendation to give Overseas Territories voting rights in the youth council and we hope it will pass the next stage at the next General Assembly so that we can have a full seat at the table.”

The conference, organised as part of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London last month, was designed to bring together young people to discuss their problems.

The group has met twice a year since it was founded in 2013 and was the second attended by representatives from Bermuda.

Mr Lister said: “The CYF brought together a diverse group of young people from around the Commonwealth and provide an opportunity to build cross-cultural connections and discuss the challenges facing young people and ensure we have a voice in our future.

“During the conference we were selected at attend a joint session between the Youth and Business Forums to discuss the need for youth empowerment and increasing opportunities for social entrepreneurship.”

Mr Perinchief added: “It was heart-warming to be able to foster relationships with some of the youth leaders from other island nations, from as far away as Papua New Guinea to our Caribbean cousins in places like Anguilla and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

“Overall it was a great experience and we look forward to collaborating with other countries on common interests to effect positive change in the future.”