By Naomi Yakawich
The Young Americas Business Trust (YABT) joined the Latin American Presidential Mission (LAPM) in a meeting presenting both associations’ leading projects on May 9 in Washington DC.
YABT and LAPM discussed opportunities to work with their wide networks of young leaders throughout the region, placing special emphasis on the importance of impactful intergenerational dialogue between the older Latin American leaders and young leaders as a means to strengthen democracy in the hemisphere and engage young people as change agents. Both organizations agreed that historical knowledge and experience can help young people appreciate the hard-won democracy and encourage contributions to the continuing work of strengthening and developing Latin America.
The meeting included former Presidents of Guatemala, H.E. Vinicio Cerezo, and Bolivia, H.E. Carlos Mesa, and executive directors from the Esquipulas Foundation, Global Young Leaders Academy and the YABT.
The Latin American Presidential Mission is committed to mentoring and engaging young leaders. Through conferences such as the 2016 One Young World Annual Summit and the Global Peace Youth Assembly at the Global Peace Convention 2017, and smaller meetings, the former and current heads of state have sought to impart their wisdom and experience to foster young leaders’ moral and innovative leadership capacities and impart their firm conviction in the importance of democratic principles. Through such inter-generational cooperation, they hope to prevent repeating past mistakes and secure enduring peace and development for the region.
The Latin American Presidential Mission, first launched at the Global Peace Convention in Atlanta, USA in November 2012 with eight former presidents from Latin America, is an association of former heads of state committing their leadership, experience and action to foster greater regional integration, effective and transparent governance, and sustainable and equitable development. Since then it has grown to include more than 20 former heads of state from 12 Latin American countries.
Former presidents on the LAPM are joined by human rights experts, educators and business leaders in forums addressing regional issues such as the independence of the judiciary, threats to democratic institutions in Latin America, development opportunities through investments in science and the green economy, regional security, and youth culture.
The YABT provides an international platform for youth voices to share and implement their ideas in programs such as the Youth Forum of the Americas.
The YABT and Latin America Presidential Mission plans to continue collaboration efforts, providing opportunities for youth to dialogue and generate new inputs for the international community.