OAS in search of democracy youth
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The thirty-eighth regular session of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States will be held from 1 to 3 June 2008 in the city of Medellín, Colombia. The sessions will take place in the Plaza Mayor complex, consisting of the Convention Centre and the Exhibition Palace.


To make the reader aware of what will happen, first talk about the OAS - Organization of American States - which conducts discussions with a large number of regional and global topics, with the main objective of bringing all nations of the Western Hemisphere, thus, strengthen democratic values.


The OAS is the main multilateral forum of the Hemisphere to strengthen democracy and to promote human rights and to discuss common problems, such as poverty, terrorism, drugs and corruption. The diversity of cultures and peoples is reflected in the fact that the organization has four official languages: Portuguese, English, Spanish and French.


The organization consists of 35 member countries of the Americas. The participation of the Government of Cuba, member country, has been suspended since 1962, consequently, only 34 governments have effective participation. Nations in other parts of the world participate in the OAS as "permanent observer".


This meeting, which will take place in Colombia, which was proposed by the government's own country, has as its main theme "Youth and Democratic Values", since the participation of youth in the daily life of countries is very large, beyond the discussions of the challenges still will face in the future of their nations.


Taking advantage of this discussion, will be delivered to the Permanent Missions, as well as the Permanent Council of the Organization, a document with measures suggested by the participating members to profound improvements to young people, especially within democratic. Since the Inter-American Democratic Charter recognizes the word democracy based on the following values, principles and practices:


- It is very essential as it is a right of the people is an obligation on governments;


- Strengthens and intensifies by permanent, ethical and responsible citizen;


- It is based on respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms;


- Its exercise requires transparency in government activities and the civil authority;


- Priority is the strengthening of political parties and other political organizations;


- It is essential to full and equal political participation of women and the elimination of all forms of discrimination;


- You need the full and effective exercise of workers' rights and the promotion and observance of economic, social and cultural, that promotes the preservation and good stewardship of the environment, and we have quality education in its key element.


The document also reminds resolutions ancient encounter given by the organization. For example, the Plan of Action of the Second Summit of the Americas held in Santiago, Chile, in April 1998, instructs governments to develop "democratic culture at all levels, to teach individuals ethical values, solidarity and of integrity. "


And for that, you need to strengthen the participation of teachers, families, students and outreach workers in their task of designing and implementing projects aimed at shaping citizens imbued with democratic values. The Plan of Action of the Third Summit of the Americas held in Quebec, Canada, was also remembered.


On occasion, the Heads of State and Government pledged to support and promote lifelong learning by offering curricula based on skills, knowledge, civic and democratic values.


The Declaration of Nuevo León of the Special Summit of the Americas, was also remembered, as it reaffirmed the hemispheric commitment to democracy and reiterated the importance of political education and preparing young leaders to democratic governance.


The document also makes some considerations on top of measures already agreed with the central goal of democratizing nations, especially with the involvement of young people. This is the case of the Programme of Action for Youth, adopted by the UN General Assembly, by resolution 50/81, which has a series of guidelines for the implementation of effective policies and relevant to young people.


Beyond it, we can mention the Lisbon Declaration on Policies and Programs to Promote Youth, adopted at the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth, held in Lisbon from 8 to August 12, 1998, urges the intergovernmental organizations that provide greater support policies and programs for youth.


Other facts to be celebrated, which serve as stimuli for possible new resolutions are this year celebrating sixteen years to the constitution of the Ibero-American Youth, the Twenty-Third Anniversary of the International Year of Youth (JIA), according to a declaration of United Nations, the Thirteenth Anniversary of the World Programme of Action for Youth, the United Nations, and the ten years of the Young Americas Business Trust (YABT) and the Program for Promotion of Democratic Leadership and Citizenship (PROLIDEM) Secretariat OAS.


From this, in addition to recognizing among other things, that building, the young population of the Americas, values, skills and abilities, it is essential to prepare for life and for integration into the political, social and productive calls with emphasis, among other such actions:

1. Link, as a top priority, the youth of the Americas with the values ​​in the Democratic Charter of the OAS, with a view to their political, social and productive in the context of democratic citizenship.


2. Ensure the participation of young people, aware of their responsibility as citizens with rights and duties, willing to participate in decisions that disseminate the democratic principles and values ​​in order to achieve consolidation of the hemisphere and the relationship of respect and brotherhood between our peoples.


3. The commitment to ensure the protection of fundamental rights of young people and promote their economic, social and cultural rights are inherently linked to integral development, equitable economic growth and the consolidation of democracy.


4. Reaffirm commitment to promote formal and non-formal education in democratic values ​​and practices in order to develop skills and competencies in youth for life in democracy and the full exercise of human rights.


5. Reiterate that the youth are not only beneficiaries of public policies, but also actors who contribute to its formulation, implementation and evaluation, which converts them into a key to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.


6. Highlight the importance of creating and strengthening programs for young people in civic values ​​as educators and managers peace in families and communities, with the objective to generate healthy and safe environments for their development and strengthen the role of families in creating intergenerational positive as well as ethical and active participation in society.


7. The commitment to link young people in building the public through incentives and guarantees for participation in instances of concentration and decision of character and civic community, such as social volunteering activities, civic oversight of the electoral process, budget execution and formulation and implementation of public policies including the protection of the environment.


This list is extensive and consists of 18 items in total, to support actions aimed at bringing benefits to young people, all in the name of democracy. By the way, the full document, and further information can be viewed at the following address:


By João Paulo Amorim - Volunteer

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