Colombia may be the first Latin-American country to host the largest youth Summit in the world. Bogota, for the first time in history, is a candidate to hold this event, which gathers over 1,200 delegates from 194 countries.
The British organization, One Young World, has announced the cities shortlisted to host its summits in 2017 and 2018. The Colombian capital has been shortlisted, along with Paris, Belgrade and The Hague. The winners of the Host City Bid Process will be announced at the end of September 2015.
In previous years, the One Young World Summit has enabled dialogue between young people and global leaders, including Muhammad Yunus, professor and economist; Arianna Huffington, author and columnist; and Richard Branson, businessman among others.
Bogota: America’s Candidate
Nearly 2,000 people, including youth, advisors, organizing entities, and mass media from all over the world may have the chance to assemble in the capital for four days, while interacting in different summit venues.
Daniel Buritica –ambassador of One Young World Colombia, and part of the group that has placed Bogota within this organization as a candidate city– believes that this is an exceptional opportunity to gather lessons learn from other countries, which may then be implemented in a new post-conflict era foreseeable in Colombia’s near future.
“Being shortlisted as a candidate city is an achievement in itself, not only locally, but for Latin-America as a whole, as this region promotes global economy. Colombia is specifically experiencing a historical moment and is challenging leaders under 30 to rethink the new country that we hope to achieve”, states Buritica.
What Comes Next?
This coming August, an international delegation from One Young World will come to Bogota on a reconnaissance visit organized by the Greater Bogota Convention Bureau and Procolombia, to assess matters like infrastructure, political will in hosting the summit and desire to embody the significance of this event for the Colombian people.
Sandra Garcia, Executive Director of the Greater Bogota Convention Bureau, sees an investment for the capital of about 8 million American Dollars during these days, translated into logistics, transportation and accommodation for thousands of people.
“This amount will grow through direct spending by each participant in different areas of the city, along with media coverage on the destination. If selected, Bogota would receive international coverage from over 200 global mass media outlets that cover this summit annually”.
Colombia: committed to youth
Today, there are 1,800 million young people in world, according to the latest report of the United Nations Population Division. In Colombia, the young population reaches 12,700,000 people between 14 and 28, representing approximately 27% of the total Colombian population.
“These men and women have the potential to solve problems and commit to the country’s economic and social progress, the region and the world”, says Juan Carlos Reyes, Director of the National Youth System Department under the Presidency of the Colombian Republic.
According to Colombia Joven, Colombia and its capital have the features that may enable it to host the youth summit. National policy processes, participation and national affairs like education, employment and entrepreneurship, among others, are now focusing on young people.
“We have the proper means to bet on Bogota as the host city for the One Young World Summit. This is a city, a country, that drives a great number of youth development spaces and venues that attract young people. Such an event will help us establish on the public agenda that Colombian and Latin-American youth are people worth investing in, and now is the time. There have never been so many young people as we have today”, states Reyes.
Some figures of young people around the world
- The world has 1,800 million people, between 10 and 24, the largest amount of adolescents and youth in history: a huge potential for development through the right investment.
- Over 2 million teenagers, between 10 and 19, have HIV/AIDS, and 1 in 7 new HIV infections among youth.
- Up to 50 percent of all sexual assaults are committed against girls under 16.
- 73.4 million young people, between 15 and 24, are unemployed worldwide, equivalent to 36% of total global unemployment (202 millions).
- Up to 60% of young people in developing countries are unemployed and do not go to school.
- Teenagers, have less access to contraception, HIV testing, health care and advice.
What is One Young World?
This is a British non-for-profit organization that annually gathers leaders, between 18 and 30, from over 190 countries. Among the delegates, there are talented young leaders who have developed high impact projects in several industries of the countries they represent.
The One Young World Summit has been hosted in cities like London, Zurich, Pittsburg, Johannesburg and Dublin. This year, Bangkok has been selected as the host city, and for 2016 the host city will be Ottawa. Under the context of summit, dignitaries and delegates of different countries join to discuss, provide and share innovative solutions to main global issues.