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UN Announces worldwide search for young leaders

  • 17 October 2017 |
  • Published in Youth

The UN Youth Envoy has just announced the call for applications for the next class of Young Leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals!

The world is currently home to the largest generation of young people in history. With 50% of the world’s population being under the age of 30, the ideas and talents of young people will drive the success of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. 

That’s why the United Nations is on a mission to unearth 17 of world’s greatest young changemakers, innovators, and ground-breakers!

 Launching the Class of 2016 was a huge success-- after a year of advocacy, they’ve spoken on hundreds of platforms and reached millions of people spreading the message of the Goals. Selected from over 18,000 nominations, the first class of Young Leaders for the SDGs are 17 global citizens who come from many different backgrounds, represent every region in the world and are recognized for their outstanding leadership in their efforts to achieve the Goals.

Until November 3rd, we’re on a mission to unearth 17 of the world’s greatest young leaders working across all sectors and from every corner of the world to make up the next Class of Young Leaders for the SDGs.

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Jamaica, New York and Liberia schools connect to remember the victims of the slave trade

12 May 2017 - The United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI) partnered with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Associated Schools Project Network (ASPnet) and Links, Inc. to organize its ninth annual Remember Slavery Global Student Videoconference on 12 May.  At  9:30 a.m. the event will linked high school students at United Nations Headquarters in New York to their counterparts in Kingston, Jamaica, and Monrovia, Liberia.  The 2017 theme is “Remember Slavery:  Recognizing the Legacy and Contributions of People of African Descent”.

Students had the opportunity to learn about the specific consequences of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, in particular the ways in which enslaved Africans and their descendants influenced and continue to shape societies around the world, including in the areas of technology and culture.  They also discussed the persistent spirit and innovation of the people in communities affected by the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Richard Benjamin, Head of the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool, United Kingdom gave a expert presentation on Black achievement which was followed by presentations from students on their research on Black achievers leading up to the conference. Soré Agbaje, a graduate of Urban Word NYC, an organization that provides free literary arts education and youth development programmes to teenagers across New York City delivered a spoken word performance. Special guest speakers included José Luis Fialho Rocha, Permanent Representative of Cabo Verde to the United Nations, and Pennelope Althea Beckles, Permanent Representative of Trinidad and Tobago.

The conference participants also learned about The Ark of Return, which is  the Permanent Memorial at United Nations Headquarters to Honour the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

  
The Remember Slavery Programme is managed by the Education Outreach Section of the Department of Public Information. It was established by the General Assembly in 2007 to further remembrance of and learning about the causes, consequences, lessons and legacy of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and slavery.  It also aims to raise awareness of the dangers of racism and prejudice today, through activities held around the world by the global network of United Nations information centres and educational materials produced throughout the year.

To learn more about the United Nations Remember Slavery programme, please visit rememberslavery.un.org.

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Young people debate LGBTI issues for the first time at MUN event in Trinidad and Tobago

For the first time in the Caribbean, young adults from secondary schools across the Caribbean area met in Port of Spain to simulate a debate of the United Nations General Assembly. 50 member states were represented by young men and women, who researched their positions on the rights of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and intersex persons.

For two days the delegates exchanged sometimes passionate dialogue on the issue. Some delegates pleaded with the Assembly to recall the founding of the Organisation and what it stands for- including the equal rights of all persons regardless of their sexual orientation. Others, despite their personal belief, stood firm on the UN Charter's recognition of the sovereign rights of their  states even if it meant discriminating against LGBTI persons. Middle Eastern states supported the proposal by some African states delegates that Western states should create opportunities for LGBTI persons to migrate freely to escape discrimination in their respective regions. They agreed in principle that all human beings should have equal rights, but believed that cultural and religious belief could not permit them to adopt such liberal 'western' concepts.

The Debate ended on a positive note, with most states conceding to implement mechanisms that investigated human rights abuses against LGBTI persons and look forward to further dialogue on a mutually acceptable way forward. 

President of the Rotary Club of Central Port of Spain, congratulated the young people, their parents and financial supporters for choosing to opt in for the dialogue on this issue, which by and large remains taboo in the Caribbean or otherwise not encouraged. She also saw this as the beginning of the shifting of paradigms on equality and non-discrimination.

This year the Rotary Club of Central Port of Spain, celebrated 20 years of organising and hosting Model United Nations simulations.
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UNESCO launches strategy to prevent youth radicalisation

  • 02 November 2016 |
  • Published in Youth

31 0ctober 2016 - UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova opened  the International Conference on Internet and the Radicalization of Youth: Preventing, Acting and Living Together, declaring, in Quebec, Canada, “Violent extremism seeks to impose a sectarian vision of society, and propaganda is a central element of its strategy.”

She identified the challenges and the opportunities that the Internet presents. “Anonymous, decentralized and easy to access – the Internet is a boon for extremists.” She added that  it is also a platform on which positive change can occur. “I see this as a new global struggle of ideas, a struggle for hearts and minds,” said the Director-General. “Young women and men must have knowledge to claim humanity’s cultural heritage and diversity as their own – and they must have skills to build dialogue through diversity. This means nurturing the Internet’s full potential for peace."

Mr. Jean-Paul Laborde, Assistant Secretary General, spoke on behalf of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, underlining the vital need for tolerance, diversity and mutual respect to spearhead new joint actions to prevent radicalization leading to violent extremism.

The International Conference is designed to provide a platform for discussion between high level representatives of Governments for across the world – including Mr Martin Coiteux, Minister for Public Security (Quebec); Representative of the Government of Canada, Mr Amadou Koïta, Minister of Youth and Civic Construction (Mali) ; Mr Hector Leonel Ayala Minister of Governance and Justice (Honduras); Mr Rachid Madrane, Minister of Youth Aid, Houses of Justice, Sports and Promotion of Brussels to the Federation Wallonia-Brussels (Belgium); Ms Juliette Méadel, Minister of State for Victim Assistance (France).

The conference, organized by UNESCO, its Information for All Programme, the Government of Quebec, with the support of the Government of Canada, has attracted some 400 participants, who have come together to explore how to prevent the rise of violent extremism and radicalization of young people on the Internet.

Ms. Bokova also thanked the Government of Quebec for its support to UNESCO, with the UN Center for Counter-Terrorism, to prevent violent extremism through youth empowerment in Jordan, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia, as well as the proposed new UNESCO Chair on Preventing Radicalization and Violent Extremism in Quebec.

UNESCO Artist for Peace Celine Dion, Quebec Minister of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusiveness Ms. Kathleen Weil and the Mayor of Quebec, Régis Lebeaume, were also among the key speakers during the opening.

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MUN 2017 (Trinidad and Tobago) launches at the new COSTAATT campus

  • 24 October 2016 |
  • Published in Youth

22 October 2016- Chaguanas , Trinidad and Tobago. The Rotary Club of Central Port of Spain launched its 20th simulation of the Model United Nations General Assembly (GA), with a ceremony at the newly opened purpose built campus of the College of Science Technology and Applied Arts (COSTAATT). The event was attended by HE Ambassador of United Kingdom, Head of Mission to the EU, representatives of the United States Embassy and the National Commission of UNESCO. The major sponsors for the 2017 MUN include - Nestle Foods, Republic Bank, the US Embassy,  Atlantic LNG, COSTAATT and others.

Rotary's Lara Quentrall-Thomas speaks at the launch of MUN 2017 (T&T)Senior COSTAATT official was pleased to announce that the new campus would be the venue for all training sessions leading up to the GA debate which will take place in Port of Spain in March 2017. During her address she encouraged youth to be better examples for public behaviour and expressed concern over the growing influence of crime and violence on youth in Trinidad and Tobago. Stephen Weeks from the US embassy encouraged the young adults there to be true to themselves and to represent the assigned member-states in a manner that reflected the culture and official opinion of the state , despite the fact that it may contradict their own personal beliefs on the issue.

In her message to the gathering , Lara Quentrall-Thomas, expressed her gratitude to the sponsors for their continued support for this worthwhile undertaking. She also took the time to thank the young leaders who gives selflessly of their time to ensure that delegates are prepared for GA simulations over the years; and was happy to announce that  LGBTI rights would be the topic for debate, remarking that this discussion was long overdue for our region.

 

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Youth unemployment set to rise for the first time in 3 years

  • 25 August 2016 |
  • Published in Youth

24 August 2016 – With global youth unemployment expected to rise in 2016 for the first time in three years and the equally disturbing high levels of young people who work but still live in poverty, the United Nations labour agency today called for greater efforts to achieve sustainable economic growth and decent work.

Releasing its World Employment and Social Outlook 2016: Trends for Youth, the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated that the global youth unemployment rate is expected to reach 13.1 per cent in 2016 and remain at that level through to 2017 (up from 12.9 per cent in 2015). As a result, the number of unemployed youth is set to rise by half a million this year to reach 71 million – the first such increase in three years.

Of greater concern, says ILO, is the share and number of young people, often in emerging and developing countries, who live in extreme or moderate poverty despite having a job. In fact, 156 million or 37.7 per cent of working youth are in extreme or moderate poverty (compared to 26 per cent of working adults).

“The alarming rise in youth unemployment and the equally disturbing high levels of young people who work but still live in poverty show how difficult it will be to reach the global goal to end poverty by 2030,” said Deborah Greenfield, ILO Deputy Director-General for Policy in a press release on report.

Calling for redoubled efforts to achieve sustainable economic growth and decent work, she also noted that the report highlights wide disparities between young women and men in the labour market that need to be addressed by ILO member States and the social partners urgently.

The ILO goes on to point out that Global economic growth in 2016 is estimated to stand at 3.2 per cent, 0.4 percentage points lower than the figure predicted in late 2015. “This is driven by a deeper than expected recession in some key emerging commodity-exporting countries and stagnating growth in some developed countries,” said ILO Senior Economist and lead author of the report Steven Tobin.

08 24 ILO youth unemployment
“The rise in youth unemployment rates is particularly marked in emerging countries” he adds as the report notes that in such countries, the rate is predicted to rise from 13.3 per cent in 2015 to 13.7 per cent in 2017 – a figure ILO says corresponds to 53.5 million unemployed in 2017 compared to 52.9 million in 2015.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, for example, the unemployment rate is expected to increase from 15.7 per cent in 2015 to 17.1 per cent in 2017; in Central and Western Asia, from 16.6 to 17.5 per cent; in South Eastern Asia and the Pacific, from 12.4 to 13.6 per cent.

The report also finds that globally, the share of young people between 15 and 29 years old who are willing to move permanently to another country stood at 20 per cent in 2015. The highest inclination to move abroad, at 38 per cent, is found in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean, followed closely by Eastern Europe at 37 per cent.

The working poor

The poor quality of employment continues to disproportionately affect youth, albeit with considerable regional differences. For example, sub- Saharan Africa continues to suffer the highest youth working poverty rates globally, at almost 70 per cent. Working poverty rates among young people are also elevated in Arab States (39 per cent) and Southern Asia (49 per cent).

At the same time, in developed economies, there is growing evidence of a shift in the age distribution of poverty, with youth taking the place of the elderly as the group at highest risk of poverty, defined for developed economies as earning less than 60 per cent of the median income.

For instance, in 2014, the share of young workers in the European Union-28 categorized as being at a high risk of poverty was 12.9 per cent compared to 9.6 per cent of prime-age workers (aged 25–54). The challenge is particularly acute in some countries where the at-risk-of-poverty for young workers exceeds 20 per cent.

Interactive map: In which countries is it hardest for young people to find work in 2016?

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Youth unemployment set to rise for the first time in 3 years

  • 25 August 2016 |
  • Published in Youth

24 August 2016 – With global youth unemployment expected to rise in 2016 for the first time in three years and the equally disturbing high levels of young people who work but still live in poverty, the United Nations labour agency today called for greater efforts to achieve sustainable economic growth and decent work.

Releasing its World Employment and Social Outlook 2016: Trends for Youth, the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated that the global youth unemployment rate is expected to reach 13.1 per cent in 2016 and remain at that level through to 2017 (up from 12.9 per cent in 2015). As a result, the number of unemployed youth is set to rise by half a million this year to reach 71 million – the first such increase in three years.

Of greater concern, says ILO, is the share and number of young people, often in emerging and developing countries, who live in extreme or moderate poverty despite having a job. In fact, 156 million or 37.7 per cent of working youth are in extreme or moderate poverty (compared to 26 per cent of working adults).

“The alarming rise in youth unemployment and the equally disturbing high levels of young people who work but still live in poverty show how difficult it will be to reach the global goal to end poverty by 2030,” said Deborah Greenfield, ILO Deputy Director-General for Policy in a press release on report.

Calling for redoubled efforts to achieve sustainable economic growth and decent work, she also noted that the report highlights wide disparities between young women and men in the labour market that need to be addressed by ILO member States and the social partners urgently.

The ILO goes on to point out that Global economic growth in 2016 is estimated to stand at 3.2 per cent, 0.4 percentage points lower than the figure predicted in late 2015. “This is driven by a deeper than expected recession in some key emerging commodity-exporting countries and stagnating growth in some developed countries,” said ILO Senior Economist and lead author of the report Steven Tobin.

08 24 ILO youth unemployment
“The rise in youth unemployment rates is particularly marked in emerging countries” he adds as the report notes that in such countries, the rate is predicted to rise from 13.3 per cent in 2015 to 13.7 per cent in 2017 – a figure ILO says corresponds to 53.5 million unemployed in 2017 compared to 52.9 million in 2015.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, for example, the unemployment rate is expected to increase from 15.7 per cent in 2015 to 17.1 per cent in 2017; in Central and Western Asia, from 16.6 to 17.5 per cent; in South Eastern Asia and the Pacific, from 12.4 to 13.6 per cent.

The report also finds that globally, the share of young people between 15 and 29 years old who are willing to move permanently to another country stood at 20 per cent in 2015. The highest inclination to move abroad, at 38 per cent, is found in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean, followed closely by Eastern Europe at 37 per cent.

The working poor

The poor quality of employment continues to disproportionately affect youth, albeit with considerable regional differences. For example, sub- Saharan Africa continues to suffer the highest youth working poverty rates globally, at almost 70 per cent. Working poverty rates among young people are also elevated in Arab States (39 per cent) and Southern Asia (49 per cent).

At the same time, in developed economies, there is growing evidence of a shift in the age distribution of poverty, with youth taking the place of the elderly as the group at highest risk of poverty, defined for developed economies as earning less than 60 per cent of the median income.

For instance, in 2014, the share of young workers in the European Union-28 categorized as being at a high risk of poverty was 12.9 per cent compared to 9.6 per cent of prime-age workers (aged 25–54). The challenge is particularly acute in some countries where the at-risk-of-poverty for young workers exceeds 20 per cent.

Interactive map: In which countries is it hardest for young people to find work in 2016?

Read more...

The power of young people to shape a new future

KEYNOTE ADDRESS AT MCGILL UNIVERSITY

"THREATS AND OPPORTUNITIES:

THE POWER OF YOUNG PEOPLE TO SHAPE A NEW FUTURE”

Montreal, 12 February 2016

[As prepared for delivery]

 

Ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you for your warm welcome.

I have come to Montreal from New York – and tonight the Montreal Canadiens are in New York to play the Buffalo Sabres. I am a diplomat so I should not take sides in any situation, including a hockey game – but let me just say: Go, Habs, go!

Ladies and gentlemen,

McGill has sent many people onto the world stage.  A former President of the General Assembly, my Special Advisor on the Responsibility to Protect, Ms. Jennifer Welsh, human rights experts, political analysts and others have carried McGill’s spirit to the United Nations.

I had the honour of meeting yesterday with one of your most prominent graduates – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

He has recommitted Canada to the United Nations. I am here to recommit the United Nations to partnership with Canada. Thanks to Prime Minister Trudeau, I am sure I can visit here often.

If anyone asks me, “Why do you fight for human rights and equality?” I can say: because it is 2016!  With McGill’s support, I am confident we can boldly go where no man has gone before.

As another famous McGill graduate once said, “Beam me up, Scotty!”

Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Sixty years ago, United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld addressed the McGill International Law Association. He said realists are tempted by the illusion of cynicism – and idealists are tempted by the illusion of Utopia. In other words, if you are realistic, you may expect too little. If you are idealistic, you may expect too much.

How to balance idealism and realism – that was the essence of some of the best advice I ever received. In the late 1950s, my middle school principal told me: keep your head above the clouds and your feet firmly planted on the ground – then advance step by step.

This is my approach at the United Nations, where we defend high ideals against tough realities. At the nexus of the world’s greatest hopes and worst problems, you find young people.

Today, I will speak about the major threats in our world – and how youth can forge solutions with the United Nations.

I will focus on four problems: unemployment, climate change, armed conflict and humanitarian crises. And four global responses: our Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Climate change agreement, the Security Council resolution on youth and the World Humanitarian Summit.

My message is: you can help turn these ideals into actions.

Distinguished faculty, Dear students, Ladies and gentlemen,

The students here are part of the largest generation of youth in history. The world, though 4 billion years old, is still very young, with half of the global population under 25. Many of you may be preparing to look for a job. Over the next decade, the world will need 600 million new jobs for all the new workers. Even in some of the wealthiest countries, nearly half of all young adults are unemployed.

Climate change represents an intergenerational injustice. The older generation has not taken care of the planet that young people inherit. The world is also ripped apart by conflicts.

Some 600 million young people live in countries that are fragile or war-torn. There are now 60 million refugees and displaced people – more than at any time since the end of the Second World War. Thousands die each year searching for what everyone deserves: safety, opportunity and peace.

Yesterday, I visited with some Syrian refugees. By chance, there was a man there I had met before, when he was in a refugee camp in Jordan. Thanks to Canada, he is here, full of appreciation for this country and its warm people. When I go to refugee camps, I am especially concerned about young children who might think they will spend their whole future there.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Youth are targeted by violent extremists – and sometimes blamed for their actions. We see sensational headlines about young killers, or young women who join terrorist movements, or young victims. This completely distorted picture fails to show that the vast majority of young people want peace. I stand with them. With all these global threats, we cannot just worry about young people – or work for them.

We have to invest youth, and work with them for a new future. We have to put young people in influential positions. That is why I appointed the first-ever Youth Envoy at the United Nations, Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, when he was 28 years old.

He is connecting the UN to young people and young people to the UN. This is essential for our new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. World leaders adopted it last September to end the tyranny of poverty. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are for all countries – rich and poor.

They are a promise to all people – especially young people, who can hold their governments accountable for these promises, and help achieve them. Last week, 800 young participants at our UN Economic and Social Council Youth Forum discussed how youth can carry out the 2030 Agenda. My Special Envoy will also convene a Global Youth Partnership for the SDGs with a “Youth Gateway” to engage more young people in realizing the Goals. 

And just ten days ago, the United Nations launched the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs. This is an exciting plan to promote green jobs for young people, create quality apprenticeships, expand digital skills and build tech hubs. Youth have been leading on climate action – which is essential to sustainable development. I was impressed by the more than 5,000 young people who adopted a Youth Manifesto ahead of the Paris climate talks last December.

You can all be part of the transition to a low-carbon future. You are consumers, innovators and voters. You can invest in green solutions, invent new technologies, and elect leaders who are committed to climate action.  You can be the entrepreneurs who do more than fill jobs – because you create them.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We cannot stop to celebrate global agreements because we are still confronting global threats. The war in Syria has dragged into its sixth year, with unbearable suffering and mass killing. Terrorist groups are committing atrocities especially against women and girls. They must be stopped. Many people worry about the pull of violent extremism on youth. I would turn this equation around and say that youth can end the pull of violent extremism. That is why I have been calling for empowering young peacebuilders. The Security Council answered this call last December by adopting resolution 2250 on youth, peace and security. This was a major breakthrough for how we make peace at the United Nations.

Until now, young people were generally seen as good enough to fight wars – but not to negotiate peace.

Resolution 2250 is our commitment to address this injustice – and give young people the voice they deserve. I have also recently presented a new UN Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism that recommends partnership with youth.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The United Nations is now coping with unprecedented needs for relief aid. The world is setting shameful records. Ten years ago, the United Nations asked donors for less than three and a half billion dollars for people in need. Now, we are asking for more than five times that amount, or twenty billion. We have the highest-ever appeals – and the biggest-ever shortfalls. To address these enormous challenges, we are convening the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit this May in Istanbul. This will be a major chance to demand results – and chart a course to realize them.

I have just presented to the United Nations General Assembly an agenda for humanity to ensure that no one facing conflict, poverty or disasters is left behind.

Last September, we organized a major youth consultation in Doha to help this Summit succeed. Humanitarian action must address the concerns of young people.

And we need to mobilize young people in our humanitarian response. 

Ladies and gentlemen,

When I was your age, I went overseas for the first time on a trip sponsored by the Red Cross. My family was poor. The community collected funds so my teacher could buy me a suit.

I wore that suit on a day that would change my life forever – when I visited Washington, DC and met with President Kennedy.

He told us – and I will try to quote as much as I can, “The government leaders don’t always get on, but I think people do. What hopes we can have for the future and our hopes are in all of you [young people]. There are no national boundaries. There is only a question of whether you can extend a helping hand. Whether you help someone in your country or in some foreign city, the general cause is served.”

President Kennedy inspired me to seek a life of public service. I left the White House resolved to give back to the community that had paid for my first suit – and to my country, to our world.

Each of you has your own version of my first suit. You are not here at McGill just for yourselves, but for our common future. I call on you to give back as a global citizen. Rise to the challenges of your generation. Join forces with the United Nations for a better world.

Thank you.

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UNIC visits primary and Secondary schools in Tobago leading up to UN Day 2013

  • 14 May 2013 |
  • Published in Tobago

17 and 18 October 2013 - UNIC told the story of how the UN came to be and what it has evolved into today and the diversity of its work to approximately 90 students from two primary schools in Charlotteville, 30 advanced level students at a high school and 50 primary school students in Speyside in the island of Tobago . 

They were also engaged in a frank discussion about Malala Yousefzai, the girl who chose to stand up for the right to an education and was almost killed by the Taliban. UNIC encouraged to become human rights defenders and  living examples of "treating others with respect and dignity".  


[person name="Charlotteville Tobago" Title="UN4U 2013" avatar="../images/2013/charlotteville.jpg"]


School children from Charlotteville, Tobago who attended UNIC's UN4U presentation. Photo credit : UNIC Port of Spain

[/person]
The students of the secondary school were also shown a video  titled "50 years of Working for you", which was produced by the UN System in Trinidad and Tobago in 2012, as part of the 50th anniversary of the UN officially operating in this twin island state. 
In 1962 , the Department of Public Information field office known as UNIC opened its doors for the first time in Port of Spain; the same year that Trinidad & Tobago and  Jamaica joined the United Nation

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Contact

Email: unic.portofspain@unic.org 

Telephone: 1(868) 623 8438 or 623 4813

Fax: 1 (868) 623 4332 

Address: 

2nd Floor Bretton Hall, 16 Victoria Avenue, 

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

 

 

 

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