Following on the successful experience of this year’s attendance at the UN Decolonization committee, the Falkland Islands Legislative Assembly is looking for young Islanders interested in representing the Falklands’ at another political event.
This time the event is not in New York but the 5th Commonwealth Youth Parliament (CYP) in London, United Kingdom, that will take place from 4 to 8 December 2012.
Gilbert House’s intention in sending young Islanders overseas to this kind of events is to introduce the new generations (some of them probably could turn into future leaders) to the political realities and challenges the Falklands face internationally.
According to an ad published in the local Penguin News the interested parties must be 18 to 29 years old and be able to demonstrate an interest in the Commonwealth and parliamentary affairs and have potential leadership qualities.
Good communications skills are also essential and the attendees will be expected to take an active role in the debates and proceedings of the Youth Parliament.
The 5th CYP will focus on governance, looking at the concept from a local, national and international perspective. It will be hosted and organised jointly by CPA UK and the CPA Secretariat to mark HM The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
“The historic and ornate surroundings of the Palace of Westminster will provide an inspirational setting for this exciting and extremely important program”, reads the ad.
In a first experience last June the Falklands’ delegation to the UN Committee on Decolonization meeting or C24, included several Islanders most of whom were not yet born when the Falklands war in 1982, with the purpose of presenting Argentine president Cristina Fernandez a “message of peace”, but above all with their presence underline at the UN they are very proud of belonging to the Falklands and want to remain British subjects by will of self determination.
In several press interviews both in the US and Canada the young Islanders were able to express that the Falklands is their home and motherland, and that the Argentine government dismissive attitude towards Falkland Islanders is an “insult” to the generations of families who have forged a life there.
This year’s C24 meeting took place on 14 June, Liberation Day, (when the Argentine invading forces surrendered to the British Task Force sent to recover the Falklands) and was attended in a most unusual circumstance by President Cristina Fernandez.
The young Falklands’ delegation was made up of James March, Ailie Biggs, Andrew Pollard, Krysteen Ormond, Caris Stevens and Michael Poole.
At the time James Marsh, 31, a delegate who works for the Falklands government, said: “We are sixth and seventh generation Falkland Islanders, our families forged a life in the Falklands when times were much less easy than they are now.
”It is an insult to those people that their endeavours, the 150 years we have been in the Falklands, are not recognised by the Argentine politicians“. He added it was most important “to tell them that we are a vibrant, young, self-sufficient community who just want to be left in peace to forge our own future”.
Andrew Pollard a fully qualified agronomist and Senior Agriculture Advisor said he is “passionate about the Falklands”.
“I am very honoured to be able to represent the Falkland Islands at the C24. There is a great need to increase the global awareness of the Falkland Islands. Whilst I am not a politician, I am a Falkland Islander who is passionate about my country and understands the social, economic and political strengths and challenges that we all currently face”.
MLA Mike Summers, who together with MLA Roger Edwards addressed C 24, said the young delegation represented a new generation of Islanders who will have a chance to face the political realities challenging the Falklands as an early stage.