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Spain: UNODC draws attention to organized crime, sustainable development goals at global youth forum

20 September 2016 - A Global Youth Leadership Forum, co-sponsored by UNODC, was held during the Summer Courses delivered at the Menéndez Pelayo International University in Santander, Spain, from 11 to 17 September.

Jean-Luc Lemahieu, the UNODC Director for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs, spoke at the opening ceremony and participated in various high-level panel discussions with youth leaders and entrepreneurs, Government officials and academic experts. His message focused on how transnational organized crime is one of the major winners of today's globalization and how this situation, in turn, negatively affects the goals set out in the 2030 Agenda for sustainable, equitable and inclusive development.

For their part, Jacobo Pombo, President of the Forum, highlighted the importance of UNODC's support of the Forum, while Miguel Ángel Revilla, the President of the regional Government of Cantabria - of which Santander is the capital - proposed that the Forum become an annual meeting of global youth leaders to discuss and propose concrete solutions which address current global challenges.

The event gathered high-level representatives from the public and private sector, academia and the civil society, and was aimed at creating a unique space to promote dialogue and information sharing on priority global challenges with young leaders from around the world.

Among the participants in this year's Forum were the President of the Santander Bank, Ana Botín, the former Mexican President, Vicente Fox, the former President of the European Parliament, Josep Borrell, Panama's Minister of Governance, Milton Henríquez, and the President of the Supreme Court of Panama, José Ayú Prado.