The vital role of Youth in the future of the western hemisphere was officially acknowledged with a groundbreaking two-day Youth Forum, April 15-16, 2009. The Forum was held as part of the 5th Summit of Americas in Trinidad and Tobago, which promotes human prosperity, energy security and environmental sustainability.
In his opening speech, José Miguel Insulza, Secretary General of the Organization of American States, (OAS) lauded the opening of the Forum and recognized the critical role Youth have to play in the development of people and civil society.
GFDD and FUNGLODE’s program initiative, InteRDom, Dominican Republic’s leading internship and academic study program, formed part of the Youth Forum Agenda, which addressed pertinent issues such as training, access to jobs, capital, entrepreneurship, emigration, technology and crime and its effects on younger generations. During a panel entitled “Business Ethics and Youth Entrepreneurship,” InteRDom Coordinator Alicia Alonzo presented the program’s objectives and impact on the labor force in the Dominican Republic. Ms. Alonzo emphasized how young professionals fuel the labor market and stimulate change and competitiveness.
The pioneering Youth Forum, organized by the OAS Young Americas Business Trust (YABT), is the result of four years of hard work developing regional dialogues that have included the voices of the 70,000 young people living in the Americas. The on-going exchange of ideas will form part of the Youth Forum Declaration and the Declaration of the 5th Forum of the Americas.
During the two days of intense meetings, GFDD and FUNGLODE, active supporters of the objectives of the OAS and the Summit of the Americas, had the opportunity to present their programs and projects to relevant organizations and strengthen long-term relationships and partnerships.