Second Policy Lab addresses the impact of youth participation in hemispheric affairs

Washington, DC, December 10, 2021. Under the theme “Meaningful Youth Participation”, the Second Policy Laboratory organized by the Young Americas Business Trust (YABT) was held, as part of the activities leading to the VI Young Americas Forum of the towards the Ninth Summit of the Americas; to be held in the United States in 2022.

This second Policy Laboratory was the result of a joint effort between the YABT, the Organization of American States (OAS) and its Summits of the Americas Secretariat, and UNESCO. It was an opportunity to exchange best practices on youth participation and advocacy mechanisms, and a learning opportunity for the youth audience as they prepare to participate in activities related to the VI Young Americas Forum, on the occasion of the IX Summit of the Americas.

Along these lines, the exhibitions, which were led by Mrs. Valerie Lorena from YABT, and Giselle Burbano from UNESCO, addressed the various approaches, levels and cycle of youth participation, as well as ways to maximize these spaces by through existing mechanisms at the regional, hemispheric and global levels. The speakers delved into the priorities and impact of the Young Americas Forum, the UNESCO Operational Strategy on Youth for 2014-2021, and presented best practices of projects and examples of regional campaigns on the matter.

The testimony of youth participation in this type of mechanism could be heard from the voice of Cecilia Vilchis, YABT Program Manager, who recounted her experience as a youth spokesperson at the 49th OAS General Assembly, held in Medellín, Colombia, in June, 2019.

The event’s agenda also included the intervention of the Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Ambassador Néstor Méndez; the Executive President of YABT, Mr. Luis Viguria; and the Director of the OAS Summits of the Americas Secretariat, Mrs. María Celina Conte.