The East Belfast MLA, who has written to Assembly Speaker Robin Newton seeking an update on the issue, said it was a glaring omission Northern Ireland was the only region across these islands without a Youth Assembly.
“Proposals for a Youth Assembly were approved by the Assembly Commission in 2011. Therefore, it is extremely disappointing it has not progressed any further since and to learn about a number of obstacles in its path, including budget constraints and being unable to obtain agreement from the then-Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister.
“I was pleased the Speaker’s response to my letter has indicated he has asked officials to add the issue of a Youth Assembly to the agenda for the Assembly Commission’s next scheduled meeting in early March. It will be a good opportunity for the Commission to consider the views of the Youth Congress regarding a Youth Assembly.
“A Youth Assembly can complement the full Assembly by actively encouraging young people to get involved in politics and make their voices heard. Young people are the future but with the help of a Youth Assembly, they can also be the present.”