The permanent secretary of the Council of Ibero-American Entrepreneurs (CEIB) and CEO of CEOE Internacional, Narciso Casado, spoke yesterday at a virtual seminar organized by the International Youth Organization (OIJ), under the slogan: “Youth and society of the post-Covid: a call to action ”. Its objective is to define a political agenda that places young people on the side of solving the problems caused by the pandemic, through a high-level dialogue between presidents, global leaders, youth and decision-makers from Government, academia, society civil, cooperation agencies, multilateral organizations and the private sector. The meeting focused on the proposal of ideas for the empowerment of young people and the need to strengthen their skills and attitudes, both individually and collectively, so that they expand their power to decide, act and influence the new post scenarios -Covid, from the perspective of the new rights agenda.

OIJ Plan 30

The session was inaugurated by the OIJ general secretary, Max Trejo, who assured that the purpose of this dialogue is to make a proposal that allows us to create the conditions for young people to be builders of the new reality we are facing and to become protagonists of the transformation. The Plan 30 that Trejo presented, aims to empower young people so that they can decide on their lives and influence the environment, as well as defend their rights and promote their participation in the 2030 Agenda, generating multi-actor and multi-level cooperation. The Plan focuses on four cross-cutting priorities, which are: promoting resilience, strengthening the capacities of people, institutions, and countries to face the crisis; gender equality in all the actions they undertake, recognizing the gender / generation intersection; the effective participation of this group at the national, regional and local levels; and communication, using all possible means to spread their actions among the different audiences with whom they work.

For her part, the Ibero-American Secretary General, Rebeca Grynspan, stressed that the celebration of this meeting represents a very important lever to promote the much-needed transformation in this crisis, where a political, economic and social agenda is required that positions youth in the center of change. Plan 30 is an excellent roadmap for this group in Latin America, "it is impossible to build a future if youth has no future," he said. There are 2,000 million young people in the world and none of the Sustainable Development Goals speak about them, so they should be included implicitly in all of them. Grynspan assured that in Latin America there are 150 million people between 15 and 24 years old and, without a doubt, it is the most educated and demanding group of young people they have ever had. The real problem is that there are many young people and children out of classrooms as a result of the pandemic and "a short-term crisis cannot be allowed to become a much longer one." The Ibero-American Secretary General explained that the effective participation of youth is required to carry out the transformation in the face of this new reality, that we want it not only to be new but better, and that, through an inclusive dialogue, it considers issues of vital interest to the Region such as green, blue, orange economy, innovation or sustainability. "It is crucial to bet on multilateralism, cooperation and solidarity, since we are convinced, but we must convince others," he said. In this sense, he added that talent is very well distributed in the Region, but an effort should be made to better distribute resources, to face the crisis and look optimistically towards a hopeful future.

Strengthening multilateralism to empower youth

The permanent secretary of the Council of Ibero-American Entrepreneurs (CEIB) and CEO of CEOE Internacional, Narciso Casado, intervened in the dialogue organized by the OIJ to analyze “how to strengthen multilateralism that empowers young people as builders of a new global reality ? ”. In this sense, Casado spoke of companies and young people positively and with a view to the future, based on two slogans, that of this forum: "A call to action" and that of CEIB, which was born during the pandemic: "More Ibero-America " In this line, he assured that from the Business Council we have always been fully aware of the importance of having young people as true protagonists when designing the future we are heading to, with a clear commitment: that there are more companies, more Bigger, more international and younger.

Casado recalled a phrase by Rebeca Grynspan that resonated at our headquarters recently, and that is that "when we thought we had the answers, the questions changed." A great analysis for the situation in which we find ourselves and which poses new questions to which the business world wants to convey a message of commitment, future and action in which young people are fundamental. "They represent a great example of our highest value strategic reserves, the capacity for innovation, training and resilience," he said. The permanent secretary of CEIB also made reference to very important concepts for the Region, such as: information, institutions, industry, infrastructure, integration, inclusion and inspiration, and social responsibility; to which should be added internationalization, interregional trade, digital skills, value chains, training and talent retention. That is also the world of young people in Ibero-America and that of their future, according to Casado, a reality in which they must be more and more present every day, since, undoubtedly, they are key actors for their development.

In this sense, he also stressed that business organizations have never been as cohesive and coordinated as before, with a common message and voice, to speak of the future, of values, of democracy, of multilateralism, of justice and of progress, in for the sake of rebuilding and returning to hope after the crisis in which we are immersed by COVID. "This is the space in which young entrepreneurs have their place by merit and by right," he said. With this conviction, from CEIB in coordination with SEGIB, Casado continued, an alliance has been established with the Ibero-American Federation of Young Entrepreneurs (FIJE), to promote strategies and lines of work with which to continue promoting business interests in the Ibero-American space.

Training and retention of talent

The permanent secretary of CEIB highlighted the urgent need to work more in training, since it is a responsibility of everyone, governments, companies and civil society. For this reason, he pointed out, it is essential to adopt a commitment to allocate resources so that young people can develop the skills and competencies that the 21st century labor market demands. For this, stressed Casado, one of the main problems facing the Ibero-American region must be addressed and corrected as soon as possible: the retention of talent, which is that, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO), around 40% of young people in Latin America want to emigrate to other countries. In this sense, it is important to launch business training programs, which should be accompanied by measures with policies for attracting and retaining talent by governments. "It is also necessary to connect training with business activity and be able to respond to that effort and the enthusiasm of our young people to prepare and train," he valued.

On the other hand, Casado highlighted another priority issue, which is the need to promote values ​​and a business vocation. CEIB and CEOE, through the Spanish Confederation of Associations of Young Entrepreneurs (CEAJE), are leading a multitude of initiatives related to the promotion of youth entrepreneurship and incorporating it into the business reality of our country. To support the specific policies to support youth entrepreneurship carried out by the Business Confederation, and in pursuit of the commitments made within AGENDA 2030, Casado reported, a Commission for the Promotion of Entrepreneurship was created. The objective of the same, he added, is to promote, both among young people and in society in general, a positive attitude towards the role of the entrepreneur and a greater knowledge of the business reality.

At an international level, Casado commented, CEIB and CEOE have also made very important progress in this area. In Europe and Ibero-America, he stressed, we participate directly in the business spaces of the Ibero-American Summits of Heads of State and Government and promoting FIJE business meetings, collaborating in holding Business meetings and forums related to MSMEs, open innovation and digital transformation, the Orange Economy and the creative industries, among many others. In Asia and the OECD-MENA countries, he added, the working group "OECD-MENA Business Advisory Board" has been created, made up of representatives of CEAJE and the organizations of young entrepreneurs from those countries.

Social dialogue

In short, Casado said, young entrepreneurs are the central axis of future economic development. "It is you who will contribute to the generation of the employment of the future and to a better economic distribution, identifying and responding to the needs of each country, since there is no generation more prepared and connected to social reality than yours," he said. These objectives, he continued, make more sense if possible in this dialogue, since, through the empowerment of this type of spaces, the exchange of knowledge, opinions and experiences between organizations and institutions is strengthened, a determined roadmap and in that young people are essential actors in this new global reality to which we are heading, thereby making Latin American economies develop in a more sustainable way, improving the quality of life of society. "Social dialogue is the best infrastructure in a country and entrepreneurs are not apprentices to entrepreneurs, but are entrepreneurs and are the future, so they must be treated as such," he concluded.


During the virtual seminar, issues of vital interest to young people in the Ibero-American region were analyzed, such as the empowerment of young people to face today's challenges, how to strengthen intersectorality to achieve comprehensive public actions that empower young people in the current context, what is the role of young people in the transformation and resolution of challenges or how to implement multi-actor agendas that empower young people as protagonists in the search for solutions to future challenges.

To address these and other issues, a high-level dialogue was established between presidents, global leaders, youth and decision-makers from the Government, academia, civil society, cooperation agencies, multilateral organizations and the private sector. These include the participation of the President of Panama, Laureano Cortizo; the former president of Colombia, Álvaro Uribe; the Guatemalan chancellor, Pedro Brolo; his counterpart from El Salvador, Alejandra Hill; the Minister of Youth of the Paraguayan government, Felipe Salomón; the Minister of Justice and Institutional Transparency of Bolivia, Álvaro Eduardo Coimbra; the general secretary of the Central American Integration System (SICA), Vinicio Cerezo; the Secretary General for Youth of the Government of Brazil, Jayana Nicaretta Da Silva; or the technical secretary of the National Council for Intergenerational Equality of Ecuador, Francisco Cevallos; among many other speakers.

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