On the invitation of the United Kingdom Speaker in the House of Commons Sir Lindsay Hoyle, young persons from across the Overseas Territories were invited to attend a special segment of the UK Youth Parliament sitting on November 4th, 2022. It is the first time since 2019 that the UK Youth Parliament are meeting in the Commons chamber due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Speaker will chair the morning session which will include the opportunity for young people from British Overseas Territories to speak about the topic “the most important issue affecting young people from my territory today.”
Young Virgin Islanders living in the UK were invited to submit applications to the BVI London Office to be considered for this unique opportunity. On the directive of the Chairman of the Virgin Islands Youth Parliament (VIYP) Honourable Sharie B. de Castro, candidates were interviewed by a panel consisting of the Members of the VIYP and its Secretariat. Miss Rymer will make history when she sits on the benches in the UK House of Commons as the first Virgin Islander ever to speak in the UK House of Commons.
In choosing Climate Change and its long-term effects on the territory’s youth as her platform, Miss Rymer said, “the future and sustainability of our islands rests with us, to mitigate against the effects of climate change. The youth will have a heavy, costly burden to bear. Our inheritance is an ever-increasing bill to rebuild our territory with each natural disaster that pays us an unwelcome visit. Climate change – sweeps across all areas of the lives of Virgin Islands Youth: our education, our food security, our paths to employment and entrepreneurship, our mental and physical health.”
Mr Speaker said it was “about time we heard from our friends in the extended part of our United Kingdom family – and the UK Youth Parliament event offers them the perfect platform.” “For too long I have felt the British Overseas Territories have been overlooked, yet so many of the decisions we make here in the UK have a huge impact on their futures,” he said. “I am really looking forward to hearing from the young people who live in the overseas territories – about the issues that affect them and their experiences. I am sure we will learn so much from their contributions.”
This year the BVI London Office is commemorating 20 years of BVI Diplomacy and International Relations abroad with the opening of the London Office in 2002. The office continues to fulfil its mission of strengthening the voice of the BVI with His Majesty’s Government and enhancing the regional and international impact and reputation of the BVI. The office in collaboration with the Virgin Islands Youth Parliament and the Ministry of Education, Youth Affairs and Sports facilitated the territories participation in this historical event.
Live viewing of the sitting can be seen at https://www.parliamentlive.tv/Commons on 4th November 2022 from 7:00 a.m local time, 11:00 a.m. GMT.
NOTE TO EDITORS:
Photo 1 of 3: Ms. Charity Rymer
Photo 2 of 3: Charity Rymer with Director of BVI and London Office Ms. Tracy Bradshaw
Photo 3 of 3: Charity Rymer with Mr Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle and other Overseas Territories Youth Representatives.