On July 23-26, 2013, the Organization of American States hosted over 400 students and 50 professors from universities across the Americas at the 31st Model OAS General Assembly (MOAS)* for universities in the Hemisphere, which took place at the organization's headquarters in Washington DC. The Young Americas Business Trust (YABT) had the pleasure of supporting the participating students in the development of resolutions on entrepreneurship for the Third Commission of the model.
This 31st MOAS for universities was inaugurated on July 23rd with welcome remarks by His Excellency, Ambassador Albert Ramdin, OAS Assistant Secretary General, who welcomed the students to Washington and highlighted the importance of entrepreneurship for the strengthening of democracy and security in the region. This model included five commissions that focused on: 1) General Commission on the Application of the principles of the Social Charter of the OAS for democracy, 2) First Commission on the Strengthening of the Inter-American Democratic Charter to guarantee free electoral processes in the Member States, 3) Second Commission on the Report on Drugs: Identification of new focus areas to face illegal drug trafficking, 4) Third Commission on the Promotion of cooperation between the private sector and academic entities to foster youth entrepreneurship in the Americas, and 5) Fourth Commission on New and creative methods for OAS financing, as an intergovernmental organization.
Throughout the activity, YABT worked with the students from the Third Commission to help them in identifying the major areas of interest on the subject as well as assisting them with the content of the resolutions. On July 23rd, Luis Viguria, YABT's CEO gave an introductory speech to the commission, talking about the importance of entrepreneurship and the ways different entities can work together to promote the entrepreneurial spirit of young people and how this connects to the social and economic development in the region. He highlighted: "Entrepreneurship contributes to social and economic development in our Member States and this development is interdependent with democracy, reinforcing one another. Young people help our countries through entrepreneurship, having a direct impact on the competitiveness of our region."
The YABT staff also acted as subject experts during the preparation of the Resolutions by the Third Commission. This included support in the identification of focus areas for the working groups, as well as expertise on the subject of entrepreneurship, innovation and partnership. The work resulted in a series of resolutions focused on strategic partnerships, exchange of best practices, special programs for minority groups, inclusion of entrepreneurship in the education system, business ethics, and financial investment.
YABT works together with young people from the region to include their opinions and recommendations within the agenda of the decision-makers of the Hemisphere and ensure their inclusion as a partner in the process of democratic development in the Americas. MOAS is one of the activities that fosters the development of ideas by young people in the region and is part of the process leading into the IV Young Americas Forum to be held in 2015.
*The MOAS for students of the Hemisphere, is a program of the Organization of American States (OAS), designed to promote democratic values among the youth of the Hemisphere by familiarizing students, faculty and academic institutions of the Americas with the work of the OAS and its Member States, as well as with the Organization's role as the premier political forum in the Hemisphere. The MOAS is a simulation exercise where, through role-playing, the students represent the diplomats and political officials of the Member States of the OAS and follow parliamentary proceedings to debate and approve resolutions dealing with current issues on the Inter-American agenda. The Models foster the development of leadership skills in youth such as negotiation, team-work and problem solving.