Panama City, Panama, April 9th, 2015 - During the IV Young Americas Forum, five young representatives of the Working Groups presented the main contributions to the newly elected Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), H.E. Luis Almagro. Ms. Valerie Lorena, Executive Director of the Young Americas Business Trust (YABT) moderated the session, where they presented the main aspects of the "Declaration of Youth Panama 2015" on the following topics: Democratic Governance and Citizen Participation, Education, Migration and Energy and Environment.
In his speech, OAS Elected Secretary General said: "It is an honor to participate in the presentation of the Working Groups that you have made. You are truly the human capital of the Americas, are the major social, cultural and economic assets within the Americas. You are what can make Latin American and Caribbean Nations; the Hemispheric society, more solid, more profitable, even more intelligent."
Then he added, "Youth always makes a contribution that is fundamental, a contribution that is constructive and enlarges our society; enlarges from a cultural and a social perspective. The innovation insight you have here is a tangible example of how, in our Hemisphere, we can generate new opportunities for young people.
Almagro concluded, "Youth is, ultimately, a common transversal priority to all pillars of OAS strategy. It is fundamental in building democracy and participation, it is essential in building human rights because we want give more right to you. It is also essential when building development and in building security. My appreciation, you will always be a valid interlocutor for the Organization of American States and the Secretary General ".
Subsequently, young people took the floor to express the main conclusions and contributions of each Working Group on the issues: Democratic Governance and Citizen Participation, Education, Migration and Energy and Environment. The sum of these contributions, thanks to consensus in the talks, resulted in the "Declaration of Youth".
Roni Montero from Panama represented the "Democratic Governance and Citizen Participation” Working Group. He expressed the fundamental points of his group: "We recognize as problematic the low levels of participation in the formulation of public policies in the following sectors of the population: women, indigenous, African descent, people with disabilities, migrants, rural youth, LGBTI, among others. States should commit in modifying this situation of lack of equality and equity in opportunities for citizen participation".
Then he added, "We, on behalf of the youth of the Americas, recognize it is fundamental to endure the exercise of democratic governance, based on the chosen democratic model and we demand all human rights should be recognized and guaranteed for all, within the framework of sovereignty respect for all States without conditions, or any interference ".
The young Panamanian said, "motivated by these purposes, we request the implementation of a monitoring post agenda of discussions and commitments agreed at the IV Young Americas Forum, adapted to the reality of each country, suggesting preventive strategies against corruption in pursuit of transparency, awareness and citizen empowerment ".
The Working Group on Education had as spokesman Carlos Daza Godoy from Chile, who shared their main reflections: "The young participants of the IV Young Americas Forum aspire to universal education, from kindergarten to university, the highest quality, free, multicultural, pluralistic and innovative, to prepare us for the challenges that we, as future leaders of the Western Hemisphere, will face. To achieve our objectives, we call on our authorities to set the agenda for post-2015 according to the mentioned priorities ".
The Environment and Energy group was represented by the young Cuban Pablo Narvaez who said main notes of the Working Group: "The Young Americans believe that climate change is the greatest challenge to ensure prosperity with equity and survival among our communities. It is vital that our states constitutionally assume the right to water and sanitation as an inalienable human right, respecting cultural ties of indigenous peoples and peasants to natural resources ".
Narvaez then added, "Governments should adopt a state agenda that unifies a sustainable energy approach to renewable energy. Likewise, should encourage private investment and promote the legitimate, transparent and equitable citizen participation, cooperation and respect for the population rights and the environment. At the same time, prioritize the creation of ecological reserves in each country to preserve biodiversity and implement mandatory environmental education in order to promote the sustainable culture as a mechanism of social inclusion, strengthening the articulation of government, private sector and citizens”
Deyra Caballero, a young Panamanian, was elected as spokesperson of the "Security and Migration" Working Group. The main conclusions regarding the migration issue were: "The youth of the Americas do not perceive migration as a problem but as a right. We understand it is a multi-issue and, therefore, requires comprehensive solutions. Migration should be addressed considering its particularities: situations in countries of origin, the implications of the transit countries and the impact on the recipient countries. We recognize that migration takes place between states and within them. "
Regarding migration Caballero added, "from our Heads of States, we require investment in universal quality education to strengthen human development and the elimination of migration risks. Furthermore, the promotion of entrepreneurship, cooperatives and partnerships with the private sector is necessary to stimulate the creation of decent and safe work for youth. "
Subsequently the young Panamanian concluded exposing the contributions on "Security": "Young people understand that one of the key problems of citizen security is social and economic inequality. Also we should consider militarization, the guerrillas and the failings of the prison systems of the Hemisphere ".
This event has become the first participation of Elected Secretary General of the OAS and the hemisphere youth. It is a clear sign of the importance of youth and IV Young Americas Forum in the definition of the Hemispheric agenda.
The Young Americas Forum is a program developed in 2005 by the Young Americas Business Trust (YABT), where youth as social actors actively participate in the processes of the Summits of the Americas. More information available at: www.yabt.net/foro.