21 Oct 2013

Vanuatu hosts its first UN Youth Parliament

10:20 am on 21 October 2013

52 youths representing Vanuatu's six provinces are in Port Vila to train for the country's first youth parliament on Wednesday.

A United Nations Development Programme analyst, Donald Wouloseje, says the youths are undergoing a week-long training programme to prepare them for the event, which will be broadcast on national television.

He says the Youth Parliament was organised for students to experience how parliament works, and how decisions are made that impact development and human rights issues in Vanuatu.

Mr Wouloseje says they will be debating issues that are topical for youths.

"We have actually prepared a bill on teenage pregnancy and abortion that will be debated in the Parliament. Then, in the afternoon, there will be side discussions on some of the key issues that have come up at the moment - climate change and youth unemployment. Key issues that are actually effecting youth today."

Donald Wouloseje says he hopes the experience will help young people gain confidence to voice opinions on national issues.