Washington, DC September 15, 2017 - The San Martin Room of the Organization of American States (OAS) hosted the Official Announcement of the Fifth Young Americas Forum, held on the occasion of the second regular session of the Review Group of the Summit Implementation in 2017.
YABT Executive President Luis A. Viguria opened the event by highlighting - among things - the level of commitment of youth to the mandates of the Summit. In that vein, he added that YABT now works more than ever before to empower more young people from diverse sectors, including at-risk youth, rural and indigenous communities, Afro-descendants, and migrants, among other groups.
The Fifth Americas Youth Forum will be held in conjunction with the VIII Summit of the Americas, to be held in Lima, Peru, in April 2018. During the announcement of the strategy of the fifth edition of the Forum was presented by Valerie Lorena, Executive Director of YABT. In his speech, he mentioned the achievements of past years, the main activities of the process and the importance of Member States' support for coordinating youth participation at the Summit.
The Assistant Secretary General of the OAS, Em. Néstor Méndez, said that it is the young people who will take the reins of what we are planting and should continue this work with current and future challenges. For his part, the representative of the National Government of Peru, Ambassador Antonio Garcia Revilla, invited the youth to contribute with specific proposals that focus on the central theme of the VIII Summit "Democratic Governance against Corruption".
In the previous four editions of the Forum, more than 23,000 young people have participated in face-to-face and virtual consultations that collected their contributions to influence the definition and implementation of the mandates. Since the Summit in Panama, YABT has developed more than 80 dialogues that have brought together 4,100 young people from the region.
Beyond engaging in face-to-face discussions and discussions around the Summit, informing Hemispheric leaders of their own views, they will also have the opportunity to participate in the XIII Talent and Innovation Competition of the Americas (TICAmericas 2018), which is focused on supporting the growth of youth businesses by providing them with tools for their professional development and access to investment opportunities and support networks. The presence of the business sector as partners in this program represents an opportunity to connect young people in the region with the real market.
In a meeting of the Summit Review Group the day prior, several delegates from Colombia, Chile, Panama, and Mexico, among others, offered words of encouragement and commitment to "intensify and maintain the participation of young people in the planning of their future", as the Colombian representative said.
The Young Americas Business Trust (YABT) is an international non-profit organization that works in cooperation with the Organization of American States (OAS) to promote and implement programs and initiatives that foster youth entrepreneurship in the Americas, with in order to combat poverty and create better opportunities for young people. Since its inception, YABT has empowered more than 40,000 young people from 75 countries.