Call for urgent reform of NYDA Act

Member for Wau-Waria, Marsh Narewec, is calling for an urgent reform of the National Youth Development Authority (NYDA) Act 2014 and related laws pertaining to youth in Papua New Guinea.

Narewec issued the call after Prime Minister James Marape’s statement on the 18th of January, 2024, on the urgency of mobilising all youths around the country for productive engagement following the events of the infamous “Black Wednesday”.
The call has been put out for persons between 15 and 30 years of age to be mobilised, and the responsibility for doing that will be passed back to all provinces and districts, through the existing Services Improvement Program (SIP) funding from the National Government.
Narawec, however, pointed out that the NYDA structure, which is responsible for the mobilisation of all youths in the country, seems to have a disconnect with the provincial assemblies, district development authorities and local level governments. 
Narewec urged the national government to consider the following potential steps for reform:
Legislative change: Pass laws that provide a legislative basis for youth representatives from the youth council structure to participate in decision-making at all levels of government;
Integration of structures: Consider restructuring NYDA to integrate it more closely with provincial assemblies, DDAs and LLGs. This could involve creating formal links or pathways between these entities and the youth councils;
Representation in decision-making bodies: Push for seats to be reserved for youth representatives in the provincial assemblies, DDAs and LLGs. This would ensure youth voices are heard directly where decisions are being made; and 
Youth consultation: Implement regular consultation processes with youth and youth organisations when making decisions, particularly those that directly affect young people.
Narewec also recommends that any public consultations on the reform of the NYDA structure must be co-led by a credible Youth NGO so that the reforms are not only meaningful but must be aggressive so as not to protect the interests of government bodies only but seriously address the concerns of all stakeholders.
“I look forward to working closely with the Ministry for Community Development, Religion and Youth to follow through on the outcomes of the proposed areas for reform to ensure that we have a response from the national government on its strategy for mobilisation and engagement of youths and to have these longstanding issues addressed immediately.”
Narewec has commenced engagements with the National Youth Development Authority and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that the reform process flows smoothly and the issues are addressed.
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