Territorial-at-Large Representative and Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly, Neville Smith is calling for the implementation of a youth subcommittee to be part of the British Virgin Islands’ constitutional review process.
Smith made that call during Tuesday’s sitting of the House where legislators debated whether to have the review under the oversight of a larger Constitutional Review Commission.
He said: “The persons that we need to get more involved now are the youths. Hence, I propose that in addition to what we have already, we include a youth subcommittee with representatives from all main islands — Anegada, Jost Van Dyke, Virgin Gorda and Tortola.”
“After all, this constitution review, as well as the next, will have the greatest impact on the lives of the present youths. Therefore, we need to give them a greater role to play from now, and I strongly recommend this as a course of action to be taken now during this exercise,” the first-term legislator added.
Role of youth subcommittee
If established, Smith further said the youth subcommittee must report their views and findings from their age demographic to the main constitutional review committee for consideration.
Constitutional review to pave the road to independence
He said he believes having a constitutional review in the territory after some 13 years will help to pave the way for eventual independence whenever the BVI decides to take that next step.
“We are embarking on a historic constitutional review this time. We have to get the road map towards being self-reliant correct. This constitution that we are working to upgrade will not be the one that gets us there, but this one has to be the one that takes us there,” Smith stated.
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