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In recent years, the participation of young people has notably increased in the discussion of issues inherent to them such as human dignity and human rights, as has their appreciation for the institutions and values of democracy, security, and economic security. Young people want full development in the hemisphere and full respect for our freedoms and democratic institutions. That is why, aware of the importance of our participation in building the present and future that our generation demands, we issue the following statement:

YOUTH DECLARATION 2019,
On principles and values, for a better future in the Americas and the world

    REMEMBERING that American countries must guide and enforce their behavior in the light of the Democratic Charter and commit to promote and respect human rights;

    TAKING INTO ACCOUNT that the commitment to society, the environment, and the economy, must be paramount in order to raise awareness, care, respect, and initiative of action to preserve the place we live;

    REAFFIRMING the importance of advocacy, defense of, and respect for human rights -from conception until natural death- worldwide, and that their ultimate source is found not in the mere will of the people, the reality of the State, or public authorities, but rather in the dignity that belongs to every human being. Every effort must be made to ensure their proper respect by all and to encourage mutual complementarity between rights and duties, avoiding at all costs the politicization and ideologization thereof;

    ASSUMING the different priorities and challenges facing the security of each country and recognizing the wide range of threats outlined in the "Declaration on Security in the Americas" , which divides them into several categories to include interests of each government; it is important to find the elements shared by the countries of the hemisphere and make the construction of policy possible for security and defense, public security forces, and political systems;

    RECOGNIZING that it must be demanded that each public institution take charge of its faculties without overreaching, according to the principle of legality, and without interfering unduly or excessively in the private affairs of society or of intermediate bodies;

    OBSERVING that democracy needs strong institutions and that the separation of powers in some states of the continent is at stake due to judicial activism and, in others, due to the excessive growth of the executive power. It is necessary to revalidate the value of the division of powers and of representative and participatory democracy, which is what has made it possible to give stability and, consequently, economic and social growth to our States. The executive, legislative, and judicial powers must, therefore, be subject to the Constitution of their respective countries and respect the rule of law;

    RECOGNIZING that the principle of subsidiarity and the sovereignty of States must be respected, avoiding the undue interference of international organizations, both universal and regional, in the internal affairs of States. Particularly on those issues that are in the cultural and social heart of the States, and that undermine their identity and tradition, and on which the internal organisms are better positioned to decide.

    RATIFYING that strategies must be developed to strengthen the bonds and values of the family, taking into account their traditions, and the consolidation of a trust that serves as a measure to combat attacks on this institution as a core and pillar of society;

    AFFIRMING that the importance of the family should be recognized from economic, social, cultural, and political perspectives, to not run the risk of destroying said institution and suffering the negative consequences that could result in all areas of society;

    AWARE that the key to innovation in nations is to give prominence to the role of young people; for which it is necessary to invest in education and new technologies that offer them better opportunities to develop new ideas and social and business projects;

    REAFFIRMING that young people require from our States the guarantee of the rights to education, health, work (through the promotion of youth employment), and freedom of religion and conscience, in such a way as to ensure an integral development of our generation;

    RECOGNIZING the right and importance of the active participation of young people in the political, economic, and social spheres of their countries, and reaffirming our commitment to combat poverty, hunger and social exclusion, and to promote social cohesion and solidarity to improve the living conditions of our people;

    GUIDED by the principles of common good, subsidiarity and solidarity, the promotion of participation, the promotion of the principle of legality, and the search for truth, freedom, justice, and peace, we, the youth of the world and particularly of the Americas, consider the following decalogue necessary to achieve a better future in the region:

    ✔ WE RECOGNIZE, as in the "Declaration of Medellin" 2008, the potential of young people as bearers of principles and values, with capacities and abilities, having the possibility to influence the construction of freer, more democratic societies.

    ✔ WE ASSERT that the family, as the nucleus and base of society, should be recognized as the origin of education and promoted as the best educational policy and citizenship training; therefore, it is essential to formulate public policies from a family perspective to consolidate the wellbeing and development of the continent. Having strong families will lead us to have strong citizens and societies;

    ✔ WE URGE a real commitment to the economic development of the region, seeking support for the less developed areas in order for them to become self-sufficient and entrepreneurial and not depend on the implementation of welfare assistance programs that can be used for ideologized or political control;

    ✔ WE MAKE A CALL for democracy to be encouraged through the promotion and respect of values such as justice, equality, and freedom, through mechanisms of participation that involve organizations of civil society from all perspectives, without the ideological bias that ignores the opinion of the majority of society and creates benefits for a small portion of the population;

    ✔ WE CONFIRM that the great security crisis in the hemisphere is due to easily identifiable factors such as: corruption, drug trafficking, and authoritarian regimes; and that only through real joint efforts can we cope with this situation using innovative mechanisms that strengthen hemispheric multilateralism.

    ✔ WE RECOGNIZE that there can be no economic growth, nor true democracy, without strong intermediate institutions. The serious human rights issues of democracy and economic stagnation are due to the fact that we have forgotten the value of institutions such as the family, businesses, the church, and others that make up the social fabric;

    ✔ WE AFFIRM that the respect of human rights, as a minimum necessity for the dignified life of all people, applies from conception until natural death, without ideological impositions or agendas that violate healthy coexistence, rather than protecting it;

    ✔ WE ENCOURAGE strong commitments to be made to promote actions that guarantee the observance of the human rights of young migrants, young people with disabilities, young people with crisis pregnancies, young people living in poverty or any other situation of vulnerability. Renewing the appreciation for life, motherhood, and fatherhood, we will overcome the inertia of violence, death and discrimination that afflict our region.

    ✔ WE OBSERVE that international cooperation is at stake today; the citizen does not perceive the good that international strategies generate, so international leaders require a greater connection with the real needs of the citizens of their countries, leaving aside their ideological affinities to some groups;

    ✔ WE INVITE everyone to carry out actions of social impact to favor and protect the environment in each of the countries of the region, and to sanction and repair the lack of care. People of all ages should assume the responsibility of building a sustainable future for all generations, from the perspective of an integral ecology.

For a better future for the Americas with full respect for Human Rights and Human Dignity

Bogota, April 5, 2019.

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