One Young World Summit 2012, Pittsburgh - Former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe


One Young World Returning Ambassador Maria Fernanda Gandara reports on Special session from Former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.
Since I heard that Alvaro Uribe was coming to Pittsburgh I immediately thought on his commitment to youth and of his great work as Colombian President in the beating of the drug war. As an Ambassador representing Mexico and Latin America I can say that Alvaro Uribe was the Counselor representing our region in this year summit.
Alvaro Uribe confirmed us during his session the amazing power that our generation has but also showed us the huge responsibility that is in our hands not just related to youth involvement but also in the creation of the solutions of our countries major challenges.
Mexico was mentioned several times in his speech. First of all, he congratulated President Felipe Calderon for his determination on his fight against drugs and organized crime while showing statistics of the challenges he faced in the journey and that our next President Enrique Peña Nieto needs to solve to succeed in this war.  One of this statistics was that in Mexico there are 2000 different police bodies that is it almost impossible to coordinate them, regarding this we know that Peña Nieto has been asking different heads of state to support him with experience and knowledge.
As a young Mexican I am convinced that Enrique Peña Nieto will succeed in the fight, after hearing Alvaro contrasting our country with countries like Venezuela.  Alvaro Uribe was clear with what Enrique Peña Nieto needed: determination, demobilization of young criminals and an improvement of social policies.
The answer is in the creation of opportunities for youngsters that are being involved in crime, we need to get them into schools, to prepare them to have a work but most importantly we need them to believe that they can do so much better that.
But how can we the active youth participate in this? Do we have to? We have to communicate and to start to open more participation channels. And yes, we need to get involved to support our new President in the next steps that will take us out of this path.
Alvaro Uribe also talked about the importance of entrepreneurship to activate our countries economy and to address youth unemployment. He encouraged governments to support young entrepreneurs and highlighted that venture capital funds need to be created to improve economy.
While hearing Alvaro Uribe I was trying to reflect how can I get involved in this and I realized that I was already working on some of the relevant points that he suggested. After coming back from One Young World 2011 I started visiting schools to speak with kids in low-income communities about dignity as the opportunity to fulfill ones potential, now I have the challenge to see how I can I get this related to the demobilization that young criminals need.  Then, we he was talking about the creation of communication channels and what first came to my mind was the Wake Up Call movement that in Mexico last year played an important role on the participation of youth on the presidential elections.  Finally, I related the entrepreneurship need he mentioned to my work as intern at an impact investing venture capital firm called IGNIA that supports high impact entrepreneurs that provide quality goods and services to the base of the pyramid in Mexico.
So what I learned today after hearing Alvaro Uribe is that sometimes we are already working on the solutions but we sometimes miss to see the whole picture on how this work is relevant to our countries development.  It is my duty now to get young people in Mexico to act so we can all together be the generation of leaders that our country needs.