IOM Deputy DG Participates in Ibero-American Summit in Colombia

Colombia – IOM Deputy Director General Ambassador Laura Thompson participated in the 25th Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government on 28 and 29 October in Cartagena, Colombia.

The Ibero-American Conference is made up of the 22 countries of Ibero-America: the 19 Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries of Latin America, plus Andorra, Spain and Portugal.

With more than 150 million youths in Ibero-America and one in four people being between 15 and 29 years old according to the International Youth Organization for Ibero-America (OIJ, in Spanish), this year’s summit focused on Youth, Entrepreneurship and Education.

The summit highlighted that youth in Ibero-America face challenges to effective inclusion in the job market and productive systems. In this sense, it is important for countries in this region to offer opportunities and strengthen comprehensive public policies that guarantee this population can favourably transition to labour and productive fields.

“IOM has been developing more programs to respond to this population’s particularities, identifying their needs in local contexts and designing projects based on their own voices and opinions,” said Ambassador Laura Thompson. 

The governments participating at the summit adopted the Ibero-American Pact for Youth, a document that seeks to propel a regional partnership to coordinate governmental, social, and private sector efforts, in order to foster Ibero-American youths’ access to opportunities.

During her stay in Colombia, Ambassador Thompson also visited different projects, supported by IOM and partners from diverse sectors in Cartagena, that seek to improve quality of life for adolescents and youths and give them opportunities separating them from contexts affected by violence.

For further information, please contact Diana Martinez at IOM Colombia Tel. + (57) 1 639 7777, Email: