After delivering Telefonica’s recent Global Millennial Survey (GMS) findings to young leaders from across 190 countries, Ronan Dunne, CEO Telefonica UK, welcomed four former Latin American presidents onto the stage at the One Young World Summit in Dublin, Ireland.
President Alejandro Toledo (Peru), President Ardito-Barletta (Panama), President Vicente Fox Quesada (Mexico) and President Pastrana (Colombia), took their seats for what was an intimate look inside a continent from those who governed a combined population of over 170million.
Chairing the session, Ronan Dunne started by revealing findings from the second millennial survey, which found millennials in Latin America to be far more optimistic than their North American and European counterparts, although interestingly, an interactive vote from those in attendance found the majority (30%) identified Asia as the most optimistic region with Latin America a close second (24%).
Delegates from Colombia, Venezuela, South Africa and the United States were among some of those who fielded questions on important issues ranging from corruption, poverty and the protection of indigenous lands, with the presidents giving thoughtful and, at time, impassioned answers.
“60% of the world’s oxygen is produced by the Amazon Basin. And we are destroying it!” said president Andres Pastrana, who also described how he become a political prisoner of the medellin cartel and has been a fighter against the drug cartels ever since:
‘We have decided to dedicate our lives to fighting poverty, inequality and discrimination and I do not know any other effective weapon to kill poverty and inequality than education. Had it not been for education, I would not have had the privilege of being here with you today.’
‘There’s a crisis of leadership. And so this event is so propitious where the young people can fill the vacuum of leadership. Leadership not only to solve the problems today; but don’t let anyone wake you up from your dreams.’