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Vanuatu to host job conference with 10 Pacific states

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, March 27, 2011) - Vanuatu is hosting a meeting of ten Pacific states to find ways of helping more young people to find jobs.

Analysts say job growth across the region is not keeping pace with the number of youths reaching working age. This problem has been compounded by the fall-out from the global financial downturn.

The meeting in Vanuatu, to be held this week, has been organized with help from the International Labor Organization and the Commonwealth Youth Program.

Youth Program spokesman Sushil Ram says the focus will be on bringing down youth unemployment, rather than relying on donor countries to impose programs externally.

"Donors - AusAID in particular - cannot solve the problems of all the Pacific Island countries when it comes to youth unemployment," he said.

"I think the initiative has to be taken by the countries themselves and donors will come and assist in those initiatives. So I think this conference will highlight the need for member governments to discuss how that can be addressed in a regional and collective context."

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