Vanuatu’s President, H.E. President Baldwin Lonsdale officially opened the first Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Emerging Youth Leaders of Melanesia Program today at MSG headquarters in the country’s capital, Port Villa.
The comprehensive training initiative was designed to develop strong youth leaders and equip them to lead development efforts in their own countries.
Twenty young people from Fiji, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu have gathered and were present today during the opening in Port Vila to begin training under this program.
Vanuatu Members of Parliament, church leaders and representatives from the MSG Secretariat and SPC were there to witness the occasion.
“At this critical moment in time when the Pacific Island countries and the world are going through many challenges of any magnitude, we need a new brand of leadership who are responsible, ethical and God fearing young leaders of tomorrow to step in to lead their people free from the hardship,” President Baldwin said.
President Baldwin called on young leaders to think seriously about the opportunities and be ready to rise up and take up the challenges to ensure their people’s desires and interests are addressed effectively and efficiently.
MSG-SPC Emerging Youth Leaders of Melanesia Programme will be conducted over a span of two years involving selected youth leaders who will be participating in six, week-long workshops which will include practical sessions and visits to workplaces and agencies.
During the leadership training, they will learn about their own leadership potential as well as the successful Solomon Islands Youth@Work program model which can be adapted and implemented in their own countries in the future.
“Investment in our youth is critical to the socio-economic development of all of our member states and territories and SPC is delighted to partner with the MSG Secretariat to produce a diverse and intensive training programme for the five large Melanesian countries,” SPC Regional Director, Melanesia, Mia Rimon, said.
The first training at the MSG Headquarters will conclude on 23 July.