Vincentian creative helps shape recommendations at EU-LAC Youth Day Advisory Committee
AKLEY OLTON (front left) with other members of the EU-LAC Youth Day Advisory Committee
August 4, 2023

Vincentian creative helps shape recommendations at EU-LAC Youth Day Advisory Committee

Young people, civil society, and local authorities play an important role in the partnership between the European Union (EU), Latin America, and the Caribbean (LAC). In this context, the EU organized an EU-LAC Forum with youth, civil society, and local authorities, which took place at Maison de la Poste in Brussels, Belgium, on July 13-14, 2023.

The EU-LAC Forum was organized in the context of the EU-LAC Days, the side events that were envisaged ahead of the EU-CELAC Summit on July 17-18, 2023. A key deliverable of the EU-CELAC Summit was the EU-LAC Global Gateway Investment Agenda, a political commitment to work together in Latin America and the Caribbean. Global Gateway is the EU’s comprehensive investment offer to partner countries to boost smart, clean, and secure connections in digital, energy, and transport sectors, and to strengthen health, education, and research systems.

Akley Olton, a young Vincentian in the creative industries, shares the recommendations that he and other young people from the European Union and the Latin American and Caribbean Region developed as members of the EU-LAC Youth Day Advisory Committee. The recommendations call on political leaders in both regions to take action on a number of issues, including youth participation, climate justice, and education.

“I am pleased to share the recommendations that we developed as members of the EU-LAC Youth Day Advisory Committee,” said Olton. “These recommendations are based on the input of young people from across Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean, and they reflect the challenges and opportunities that we face. I urge political leaders to take them seriously and to act on them.”

The recommendations include:

  • Creating a network of youth organizations from the EU and LAC regions. This network would provide a platform for young people to exchange experiences, advocate for dialogue opportunities, and hold governments accountable.
  • Strengthening the political participation and advocacy of young people. This would involve providing capacity building, education for democracy, and mechanisms for intersectional youth participation.
  • Facilitating access to funding and skills development for small organizations, entrepreneurships, and businesses. This would help young people to start their own businesses and create jobs.
  • Promoting youth employment, strengthening social security systems, and upholding the dignity of retirement. This would involve developing comprehensive strategies to address the barriers to youth employment.
  • Ensuring access to quality and intercultural formal and popular education. This would include comprehensive education on sexuality, environment, and human rights.
  • Collaborating and promoting accountability, oversight, and climate justice. This would involve improving environmental standards and monitoring processes related to the triple transition.
  • Promoting the use of technology to improve government accountability, social inclusiveness, and collaboration. This would involve ensuring the reduction of the digital gap and guaranteeing access to the internet.
  • Protecting and promoting respect for human rights. This would involve paying special attention to human rights defenders, environmentalists, journalists, women, young activists, representatives of LGBTQI+ communities, and other representatives of groups in vulnerable conditions.
  • Supporting the real mobilization of 100 billion euros for climate action. This would recognize the different vulnerabilities of countries and the needs of communities.
  • Facilitating mobility programs for students, volunteers, and young professionals. This would increase access to language courses in EU-LAC countries and ensure access to visas.
  • Promoting a database with information on job opportunities, scholarships, funding, and mobility programs that are accessible for all. This would help young people to find the opportunities they need to succeed.
  • Promoting a safe environment for sharing cultural diversity and shared histories. This would encourage initiatives that facilitate intercultural dialogues, artistic collaborations, and exchanges on cultural heritage.

“I believe that these recommendations are essential for building a more sustainable, democratic, and equitable future for both the EU and LAC regions,” said Olton. “I urge political leaders to take them seriously and to act on them.”