Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the minister for his statement.
I would like to thank the minister especially for finding the time in his schedule to journey to the Bahamas to participate in the Commonwealth conference on youth and to promote the Halifax bid for the Commonwealth Games. Of course, there could be few better places to engage Commonwealth ministers on the challenges of youth poverty, crime and the devastation of HIV.
The Commonwealth is fortunate to have a leader who has been focused for half a century on finding promise and potential among the perils of youth, a leader who set out on a personal crusade to create a better world by making the world better one young person at a time. That leader, of course, is the Duke of Edinburgh, with his Duke of Edinburgh awards.
Across the globe, the efforts of this leading Commonwealth organization have touched the lives of thousands of young people from every possible background. Projects have given hope to struggling youth across Africa, turned young men away from the path to prison, released the possible, and set their futures free.
This privately funded group, with its august leadership, has achieved where governments have failed and has found hope where others have found despair. The breadth of projects, the scope of innovation and the depth of genuine concern that we find in the Duke of Edinburgh's organization should be an inspiration to NGOs and governments everywhere.
I trust that the minister will continue to connect with his new-found colleagues among the Commonwealth ministers for youth and will agree that the inspiration and success of the Duke of Edinburgh awards needs to be followed by imitation and resources. The Commonwealth needs to match the challenge of youth poverty, crime and disease with its own commitment to reach young people across the ocean with the resources to reach for a better future.