As part of its expanding focus on the global youth unemployment crisis, IYF is sponsoring a three-day event in Lima, Peru, November 17 to 19, to build and strengthen multi-sector alliances that will better prepare youth in Latin America and the Caribbean for decent jobs. The event, which will engage representatives from civil society organizations, the private sector, and government officials, is part of Obra (“work in Spanish), a youth employability initiative in Latin America and the Caribbean established in response to US President Obama’s call at the 2009 Summit of the Americas conference for renewed and strengthened alliances across the region. The launch and learning conference in Lima is co-hosted by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and by CEDRO, a Peruvian NGO.

The meeting in Peru is part of a series of IYF-supported activities designed to highlight the rising youth jobless rate among today’s youth and promote model programs, strategies, and lessons learned that can help address that crisis. At its Youth Leadership & Livelihoods Conference in Washington DC, October 7, IYF unveiled its three-year global action plan to mobilize greater investments by governments, corporations, and NGOs to help alleviate the growing problem of youth unemployment and thus make a significant and lasting impact on young people’s lives.

In his keynote address at the DC summit, President Martti Ahtisaari, 2008 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, challenged governments everywhere “to provide incentives to create and support multi-sector alliances around major issues such as youth employment.” He concluded his remarks: “Even in these difficult times, young people remain my greatest hope for the future.” 

In addition to sponsoring this week’s event in Peru, IYF is partnering with the Blackstone Group and CNBC to support the “Global Youth Employment Agenda” conference that takes place December 2 to 3 in London. The meeting aims to heighten the sense of urgency around the plight of unemployed youth worldwide and the need for greater private sector engagement in the issue. A portion of the event proceedings will be broadcast live as part of a special CNBC report. In addition, IYF is participating in a youth-development meeting in Beirut, Lebanon, December 6 to 10. The Children & Youth in the MENA Region: Toward Unleashing Their Potential event will focus on regional trends in youth employment as well as the importance of building multi-sector alliances to promote solutions.