Media Center

Press Release

OAS and CARICOM Address Challenges and Opportunities of Youth in the Americas

  June 1, 2010

The Organization of American States (OAS) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) today held a meeting at OAS headquarters in Washington, DC, to discuss ways of collaborating and advancing the agenda of youth in the Americas.

The meeting, held in advance of the World Youth Conference, was chaired by OAS Assistant Secretary General Albert R. Ramdin, and by CARICOM Assistant Secretary-General for Human and Social Development Edward Greene. It was attended by other CARICOM officials and OAS specialists, as well as by OAS Member States representatives, and featured a presentation of the CARICOM Commission on Youth Development Report, as well as a presentation of the OAS Youth Strategy for the Americas.

During the meeting, Ambassador Ramdin stressed the importance of focusing on the challenges and opportunities of youth in the hemisphere, recalling that a majority of the population of Western hemisphere countries is less than 35 years of age. “The fact alone that the majority of our population is young requires an organization like ours to focus on that segment of our society,” Ramdin said, and commented that “if we do not address the challenges and opportunities that youth can have in society now, in the future we’ll have to address other issues regarding security, crime, violence, and unemployment.”

Furthermore, Ramdin advocated for the participation of youth in the decision-making processes of the region, and reiterated the Organization’s commitment to help its Member States address the challenges of the youth in their countries. “Policy making without the youth is not policy making for the youth,” he said.

Finally, Ramdin reiterated the importance of working together to address the challenges of youth. “We intend to continue our partnership with CARICOM in addressing these issues,” he concluded, recalling that two years ago the OAS General Assembly, under the slogan, “Youth and Democratic Values,” focused on similar themes, and that important commitments were then made involving this segment of the population and its contribution to and participation in democracy.

Photographs of the event will be posted here

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-211/10