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Press Release


  June 3, 2008

MEDELLIN, Colombia – The highest political body of the Organization of American States (OAS) , which brings together the region’s Ministers of Foreign Affairs, concluded its deliberations today reaffirming the commitment of Member States to promote and strengthen among young people the values, principles, and practices of a democratic life, in approving, by acclamation, the Declaration of Medellin: Youth and Democratic Values.

Following two days of debate on the issue, the 38th OAS General Assembly underscored that “the promotion of democratic values, including freedom and social justice, as well as the development of knowledge, capacities, and relevant abilities in the young people of the Americas, are essential for their effective integration into the political, economic, and social spheres.”

The region’s 34 Chiefs of Delegation affirmed their “commitment to promote favorable conditions for full and effective political participation by young people conscious of their rights and responsibilities, and able and willing to become involved in decisions relating to their own development, thereby consolidating democracy in the Hemisphere.”

The states also made public their “commitment to promote public policies, programs, and projects that will enhance employability and increase equal opportunity, entrepreneurship, and job creation for the youth of the Hemisphere, so that all of them may achieve decent work and quality jobs, bearing in mind the recommendations of the International Labour Organization (ILO) regarding child labor.”

The Foreign Ministers called on the OAS Permanent Council and the Permanent Excecutive Committtee of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CEPCIDI) to consider convening an Inter-American Meeting of Ministers and Highest Authorities responsible for Youth before the regular session of the General Assembly in 2010.

In closing the hemispheric meeting, the Chair of the Assembly, Foreign Minister Fernando Araújo Perdomo, said that the “sum of much effort and will has allowed us to work and deliberate with frankness, openness and in a friendly atmosphere about topics of utmost importance for the inter-American agenda. I am especially grateful for the proposals, facing the future, made by the various delegations regarding the Youth and the Democratic Values, as well as concerning other very relevant topics.”

Finally, Honduras’ Foreign Minister, Ángel Edmundo Orellana Mercado, referred to the work to be immediately started by his country in order to host the 39th Regular Session of the OAS General Assembly, which will be held next year in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

Reference: E-220/08