YABT's Participation in the III OAS Youth Conference

Washington DC, USA, December 5, 2014 — As part of the Summit of the Americas process, the Young Americas Business Trust (YABT) joined at the Organization of American States (OAS) in different activities, including the III OAS Youth Conference of the Americas. 

The first activity was the Virtual Forum developed by the Summits of the Americas Secretariat and the OAS Department of International Affairs, where representatives of YABT played as the leaders and managers of this forum. The topics of this Virtual Forum focused on “Education and Migration”, two sub-themes of the VII Summit of the Americas "Prosperity with equity: the Challenge of Cooperation in the Americas”.

This Virtual Forum was enabled from November 17 to December 2, 2014, as part of the III OAS Youth Conference of the Americas. Its aim was to create a space for discussion for young people to voice their opinions and relevant experiences on both topics addressed during this conference.

YABT Program Manager Edgar Maestre moderated the Spanish-speaking forum while the Andrea Lozano from YABT moderated the English-speaking forum.

During the Virtual Forum, moderators asked three questions to young participants: What are some of the motivating factors behind a young person’s decision to migrate? What can you do to ensure that you have a successful future either at home or abroad if you decide to migrate? What can Governments and the Private Sector do to improve opportunities for young people?

On December 2, was held the III OAS Youth Conference of the Americas and also an International Youth Dialogue was organized by YABT as part of the participation process of the IV Young Americas Forum.

The OAS Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, with the First Lady of Honduras, Ana García Hernández, and the OAS Assistant Secretary General, Amb. Albert Ramdin, participated in the opening of the 2014 OAS Youth Conference of the Americas, in which several government experts and multilateral organizations discussed about "Migration and Education". 

This conference included three panel discussions entitled "Youth Migration: transforming the Americas"; "Creating opportunities in countries of origin and destination"; and "The role of the government and the private sector."

In this event, representatives of youth organizations and delegations from universities and schools of the Americas, OAS experts, the private sector, Member States and Observers, representatives of governments, intergovernmental organizations and civil society took part in the panels and the Expo. 

In these panels, participants discussed about the relationship between education and migration; its impact on the decision of young people to migrate; the situation that face young migrants; opportunities offered for youth development in countries of destination; and ways of improving life prospects in their countries of origin.

YABT Executive Director Valerie Lorena, who participated in the third panel, asserted that entrepreneurship is an effective tool for youth development. In this regard, she underscored the work made by YABT in cooperation with governments and the private sector to promote businesses and initiatives ran by young people. Moreover, she took this opportunity to announce the new category of Cultural Entrepreneurship in the Americas as part of the Talent and Innovation Competition of the Americas (TIC Americas).

Furthermore, YABT carried out the International Youth Dialogue as part of the IV Young Americas Forum. YABT CEO Luis A. Viguria gave the welcoming remarks and Beatriz Piñeres, representative of Summits of the Americas Secretariat, carried on with a biref presentation on the Process of the Summit of the Americas.

Lorena Julio and Edgar Maestre moderated this dialogue. In this occasion, young people from 9 countries (Mexico, Honduras, Brazil, Canada, USA, Argentina, Republic of Korea, Colombia and El Salvador) participated in this exchange of ideas. Their conclusions will be considered as a source of inputs for the process of participation of the IV Young Americas towards the VII Summit of the Americas.

Finally, on December 3, was held a Regular Meeting of the Permanent Council of the OAS where presented the activities reports of the December 2. In support of the OAS Assistant Secretary General, Albert Ramdin’s presentation, Edgar Maestre, Isabella Troconis and Betty Choi presented the reports about the Virtual Forum, this Conference, and Consultation of the Young Americas Forum: "Youth participation in the process of the VII Summit of the Americas" which will serve as a base for the youth forum to be held in Panama on April 2015 as part of the activities of the VII Summit of the Americas.

A photo gallery of the III Annual Youth Conference of the Americas is available here.

A photo gallery of the Presentation of the results to the Permanent Council is available here.

A video of the Presentation of the results to the Permanent Council is available here.