Regular Meeting of the OAS/CIDI Addressed Youth Unemployment: The Importance of Connectivity and Emerging Technologies

Washington, DC, May 1, 2024. “Addressing Youth Unemployment: The Importance of Connectivity and Emerging Technologies” was the theme discussed at the recent Regular Meeting of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI) of the Organization of American States (OAS), held on April 30, 2024, and organized in partnership with the Young Americas Business Trust (YABT).

The session aimed to facilitate the exchange of best practices, solutions, and experiences of Member States and strategic partners concerning the topics and areas around promoting universal and meaningful connectivity in the Americas.

The panel included Luis Viguria, CEO of the YABT/OAS; Melissa Hernandez Lopez, Manager of the Cree Program at Banreservas; Josh Blumenfeld, Government Relations and Public Policy at YouTube – Google; Craig Santos, Senior Global Director of Training Services at MathWorks; and Karin Sempf de Saénz, Founder and Director of INNOVA NATION.

This selected panel presented their perspectives on the session’s theme and the actions they are implementing from their respective sectors to contribute to the definition of priorities and adaptation of policies that promote the role of new technologies and their impact on youth, especially in job creation through entrepreneurship, as highlighted by YABT during its presentation.

“It is not only a matter of connectivity or access to the internet, but also an understanding of technology, its efficient use, and the exploitation of the opportunities it gives us,” said Luis Viguria, CEO of YABT/OAS. Viguria added that today’s youth have the opportunity to raise their voices not only before decision-makers but also with the private sector and other actors, through digital platforms, such as those represented by the Young Americas Forum in the Summit of the Americas process.

During the session, the collective commitment to combat youth unemployment in the Americas, one of the most pressing issues of our time, was highlighted. Following their interventions, the select panel of experts engaged in a debate with representatives of the OAS Member States. They emphasized the importance of collaboration between the private sector, governments, and other stakeholders, to advance together with innovative solutions to the challenges faced by youth in the region.

In her turn, Melissa Hernández López, Manager of the Cree Program at Banreservas, spoke about the support and investment they are making in enterprises betting on sustainable development, including work with the Dominican diaspora, stating, “Betting on that young talent, identifying them and being able to say: we are going to accompany you in your process of creating your entrepreneurship in an objective and meaningful way.”

Josh Blumenfeld of Government Affairs and Public Policy at YouTube – Google, highlighted the impact that content creators have globally in generating income and accessing content globally. In this regard, he noted that “At this moment, we have artificial intelligence technology that is integrated and will convert content in real-time between English, Spanish, and Portuguese, it will also make automatic subtitles, i.e., all content on YouTube in these languages for any user for free (…).” This means eliminating a global barrier that the world has through language, which allows connecting the world in a real and immediate way.

The results of the Regular Meeting of CIDI become essential contributions to support the permanent process of the Young Americas Forum of YABT, whose seventh edition will be carried out as an official activity of the X Summit of the Americas to be held next year in the Dominican Republic. The Young Americas Forum is the participation platform for the youth population of the Americas to actively engage permanent, open, and inclusive as a social actor in the Summits of the Americas, the General Assemblies of the OAS, and other high-level meetings.

With active participation from the 34 OAS Member States, the CIDI meetings serve as pivotal forums for policy dialogue and action on development issues. Key takeaways from monthly meetings during the first semester will support the formulation of a CIDI resolution on the urgent need to expand meaningful connectivity and harness the power of technology to promote resilient and equitable socio-economic development in the Americas.

The recording of the session is available HERE 

The photo album can be found by entering HERE 

For more information, contact Edgar Maestre via