Washington, D.C., October 31, 2023. During the Third Regular Meeting of the Summit Implementation Review Group (SIRG), the contributions of the youth were highlighted to reinforce and complement the efforts of hemisphere countries in monitoring the political commitments arising from the Ninth Summit of the Americas.
The meeting, held at the main headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS) in a hybrid format, featured youth spokespersons Katherin Méndez and Erika Galeano, along with an address by Edgar Maestre, Director of Programs at the Young Americas Business Trust (YABT).
In their presentations, they showcased a summary of the actions taken this year, as well as plans and activities for the coming months, as part of an ongoing process in collaboration with the youth, bridging each of the Summits of the Americas.
Edgar Maestre highlighted specific results and contributions, bringing the voices and actions of youth to relevant hemispheric and global processes. These included the Second Summit for Democracy through the Policy Lab: Youth and Participatory Democracy; coordinating a delegation of young entrepreneurs at the First Summit of the Americas Cities; the 53rd OAS General Assembly through the Youth Dialogue of the Americas; and the Youth Dialogue: Migration, Development, and Integration, in partnership with USA for IOM.
Additionally, Maestre mentioned that YABT and the National Government of the Dominican Republic held a meeting to discuss plans for the development of the VII Young Americas Forum at the X Summit of the Americas in the Dominican Republic. He emphasized, “(…) we will provide the youth with a strengthened, broad, and diverse channel of participation, supported by the best practices of past summits.”
Maestre also expressed special thanks for the continuous support to YABT and the youth of the hemisphere from the United States government, especially the Department of State. YABT announced the launch of two new competitions as part of the eighteenth edition of the Talent and Innovation Competitions Program of the Americas (TIC Americas).
Katherin Méndez, a young Venezuelan resident of Peru, had the opportunity to present the InnovAction Challenge 2.0, developed in collaboration with the Inter-American Foundation. She mentioned, among other things, “This second edition of the InnovAction Challenge promotes entrepreneurship, sustainable development, and environmental resilience in Latin America and the Caribbean, with a special focus on vulnerable groups.”
Erika Galeano, a young Paraguayan, presented the Innovation Challenge: Youth in Motion, in partnership with USA for IOM – National Committee of the International Organization for Migration in the United States. Galeano stated, “This Innovation Challenge aims to support and accelerate innovative ideas and new business models that promote and facilitate the socioeconomic integration of migrants, refugees, and displaced persons residing in Ecuador, Peru, and the Dominican Republic, with a direct and positive social impact on their host communities.”
Both Galeano and Méndez, as spokespersons for youth, called on Member States, the private sector, and multilateral organizations to join as allies in these two competitions and other initiatives promoted by YABT in support of young entrepreneurs.
For access to the complete speeches, click HERE (In spanish)
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