Summits of the Americas Newsletter

February 2009 | Summits Online | Espaņol

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Youth Forum of the Americas: Building an Alliance for 21st Century Youth

More than 400 young entrepreneurs and youth leaders from the Americas gathered in Port of Spain, Trinidad on April 15-16 for the Young Americas Forum (YAF), prior to the Fifth Summit of the Americas. The Forum created a platform for young people from all across the Americas to deliver their recommendations to the hemisphere's Heads of State and Government, meeting in Trinidad and Tobago. At the crux of the forum was the recognition that the current economic crisis affects young people and requires an urgent and concerted action among governments, private sector and civil society.

Young people themselves were the principal actors in the YAF, being present on each panel and moderating the discussions towards the Youth Declaration and Plan of Action of Port of Spain, 2009. Leading up to the Forum, four Sub-Regional Dialogues were held in 2008 in Trinidad and Tobago, Paraguay, Dominican Republic and Mexico, along with an on-line consultation. A roundtable was also conducted in Washington, DC, where the youth presented their recommendations before the Summit Implementation and Review Group (SIRG) and the OAS Permanent Council about the Declaration of Commitment and the theme of the Fifth Summit: Securing the future of our citizens through promoting human prosperity, energy security and environmental sustainability.

Four young persons presented the Youth Statement - the outcome document of the Youth Forum - at the Dialogue between Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Social Actors. The Youth Forum of the Americas was organized by the Young Americas Business Trust, a non-governmental, non-profit organization that works in cooperation with the Organization of American States (OAS), together with the National Secretariat for the Fifth Summit of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, the OAS Summits of the Americas Secretariat and international partners.

For more information, on the Youth Forum of the Americas visit or

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