LIMA – Some 200 young people from across the Western Hemisphere began on Wednesday debating their proposals for fighting corruption ahead of the eighth edition of the Summit of the Americas (SOA), which begins in Lima in two days.
The fifth Youth Forum, organized by the Young Americas Business Trust (YABT), in cooperation with the Organization of American States (OAS), kicked off the first of two debate sessions, out of which will emerge a declaration to be presented to the 34 governments participating in the Summit.
The young participants – who were selected by the YABT from among more than 1,200 candidates – will discuss their proposals in working groups, centering on the topics of democratic governance, corruption, sustainable development, inter-institutional collaboration and public-private partnerships.
YABT chief Valerie Lorena said during the inauguration of the forum that the final declaration will be the result of seven months of work by more than 6,000 young leaders.
The inauguration was also attended by SOA deputy coordinator in Peru Javier Yepez, OAS summit secretary Maria Celina Conte and the president of Lima’s San Ignacio de Loyola University, Raul Diez Canseco.
Yepez said that participation by young people in the SOA is fundamental for addressing the issues afflicting the member states, adding that their proposals will provide a “fresh outlook on the fight against corruption.”
Diez Canseco said that corruption is holding back Latin America’s development, adding that the region’s youth are its “most important moral reserve” for interacting with businessmen and the “widely discredited political class.”
Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra and OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro are scheduled to make an appearance at the closing of the Youth Forum’s first session.