Youth representatives from various stakeholders convened for a consultation meeting with the President at the State House residence in Port Vila yesterday.

The focus of the discussion was on the President’s community engagement and advocacy program, aimed at consulting and advocating with communities across the nation.

Under this program, the State House has been actively engaging with stakeholders in communities.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the State Office, Rave Nikahi, said the program supports Policy Objective 4.4 of the National Sustainable Development Plan (NSDP), particularly on the societal pillar.

He said this policy objective provides an opportunity to define the roles of stakeholders, including the government, state institutions, churches, traditional leaders, and communities.

“It was considered appropriate by President Nikenike Vurobaravu to meet with youth stakeholders to consult with them in defining their roles,” he said.

CEO Nikahi explained that this year, the State House has been focusing on engaging specific groups of people to discuss their respective areas and roles.

Consultations have taken place with chiefs, followed by churches, women’s groups, and most recently, with youth groups.

He said that while there are still other components to address, the consultations mark the beginning of a journey toward a common understanding of roles and responsibilities among stakeholders.

Nikahi stressed the President’s capacity to convene and unite stakeholders as a driving force behind the initiative.

“By initiating conversations and consultations, the aim is to heighten understanding of different stakeholders’ roles and responsibilities, ultimately contributing to Vanuatu’s development,” he said.

The State Office initiated similar engagement meetings starting in November last year, involving a mix of groups such as church representatives, chiefs, and women’s groups.

This year, the focus has been on specific groups, with consultations conducted sequentially with chiefs, churches, women’s groups, and now with youth representatives.

These ongoing consultations signify a commitment to inclusive decision-making and collaborative efforts towards Vanuatu’s future development, Nikahi said.