Washington D.C, October 19th, 2020. – The Organization of American States (OAS) virtually celebrated the “Dialogue of Heads of Delegation, the Secretary General, the Assistant Secretary General and Representatives of Civil Society Organizations, Workers, the Private Sector and Other Social Actors”, in the framework of their 50 General Assembly.
This Dialogue was focused on the main theme of the 50th General Assembly: “The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic in the hemisphere: confronting vulnerabilities and augmenting resilience in times of crisis, starting with the four pillars of the OAS,” creating a space for the discussion of ideas and proposals to be worked on in a multisectoral and coordinated manner.
Víctor Ortiz Vélez, a young Puerto Rican, represented the voices of the youth that conform the Young Americas Forum, an official and permanent process for the participation of youth during the Summit of the Americas, the OAS General Assembly, ministerial meetings and specialized conferences in the Interamerican System, and that is organized by the Young Americas Business Trust (YABT).
During his intervention, Ortiz Vélez highlighted the willingness of youth participation during times of crisis at a worldwide level, celebrating a total of 41 dialogues with more than 2,500 young people from 22 countries, starting on November 2019 until June 2020.
The results of these inquiries included the celebration of the “Young Americas Dialogue 2020”, with the special participation of the OAS General Secretary Luis Almagro, on July 1st, 2020. Likewise, a hemispheric dialogue was celebrated on August 12th, in commemoration of International Youth Day. Both dialogues took place virtually.
“It’s important to highlight the importance and impact that the Young Americas Forum has had on us since its creation in 2005. Young people will continue to take advantage of this space and continuous process, on our course to the VI Young Americas Forum, in the framework of the Ninth Summit of the Americas to be celebrated in the United States”, Ortiz Velez mentioned in his speech.
In his intervention, he also signaled that, as a part of the inclusive and supportive initiatives that young people have formulated to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, the YABT, OAS and the Inter-American Foundation consolidated a strategic alliance to develop the InnovAction Challenge “Innovation in Action responding to COVID-19”, as a category of the sixteenth edition of the Talent and Innovation Competition of the Americas (TIC Americas).
“It is a new platform of support for young initiatives that promote the development of communities, tackling multidimensional poverty, especially on the most vulnerable groups in Latin American and Caribbean countries,” explained the young Puerto Rican about the InnovAction Challenge.
The YABT works hand in hand with different multisectoral actors across the hemisphere to develop actions in support of young entrepreneurs, innovation and youth empowerment, all while maintaining the objectives and pillars of the OAS and the Decade of Action, to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.