13.05.2014 - UNESCO Office in Santiago

With a view to the 2015 agenda, 2014 LAC Regional Youth Forum meets in Ecuador

Photo: Foro Regional de Juventudes LAC 2014 Education pannel

The Regional Youth Forum for Latin America and the Caribbean is being held in Quito until 14 May, with the goal of creating a regional mechanism for dialogue between local and international bodies, government entities, and civil society. Attendees are analysing the Commitment of the Young People of Latin America and the Caribbean to the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

The meeting, organised by the United Nations, has the support of state organizations and other international bodies. It seeks to form alliances to foster the inclusion of youth issues in the global agenda, in an initiative launched by the United Nations Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi.

Its objective is to bring together as many regional voices and ideas as possible in order to respond to youth priorities in the post-2015 development agenda. To that end, the forum is working through special issue groups and plenary sessions focusing on aspects such as: education, employment and decent work, health, youth engagement, and violence.  The recommendations made by young people in these key areas will be presented to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at its session in June.

The Regional Bureau of Education for Latin America and the Caribbean (OREALC/UNESCO Santiago) is represented by Victoria Valenzuela, who moderated the event’s panel discussion on education. Valenzuela stressed “the need to draw together questions on the ethics of education: why, how, and whom we educate, and what is the role of the State as guarantor of the right to education, and the role of young people. This is a question about the world in which we want to live”.

The education discussion group also featured Javier Pineda, a law student at the Universidad de Chile and member of the alliance of Latin American and Caribbean young people for Cairo + 20; Ernesto Espíndola, researcher at ECLAC and specialist in education, youth, and multidimensional measures of poverty; and Jordi Messeguer, local deputy of Morelos State in Mexico.  Messeguer currently heads the state government’s youth commission.

Issues to be discussed

The meeting is founded on the basis of the topics considered in the Post 2015 Development Agenda, including: eradicating poverty, providing quality education and learning from the primary to tertiary levels, empowering women and girls and achieving gender equity, guaranteeing healthy lives and universal access to health services (including sanitation), job creation, sustainable subsistence, equitable growth and global commerce, ensuring good governance and effective institutions, and guaranteeing peace and safety in our societies.

Discussion will also centre on the United Nations System-wide Action Plan on Youth (Youth SWAP) which was adopted in 2013, including: employment and entrepreneurship, protection of rights and civic engagement, political inclusion, education, including comprehensive sexuality education, and health including sexual and reproductive health.

Furthermore, attention will be paid to the five priority areas of the Youth Development and Social Investment Agenda: entry into the workforce, secondary education, access to sexual and reproductive health services and comprehensive sexuality education, violence prevention, and civic engagement.

The event opened with an address by Ecuador’s minister for Social Development, Cecilia Vaca Jones, and representatives of international organizations such as Nayeli Yoval, of the Policy Commission of the Latin American and Caribbean Alliance of Youth for Cairo +20, <a name="_GoBack"></a>Alejo Ramírez, Secretary-General of the Ibero-American Youth Organization, Moni Pizani, Regional Director of UN Women for Latin America and the Caribbean, and Ahmad Alhendawi, the United Nations Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth.

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