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Commissioner Urpilainen appoints new Special Adviser on Youth from the Latin American and Caribbean region

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Natalia Gómez Solano from Costa Rica has been appointed as the new Special Adviser on Youth to the EU with a one-year mandate starting on 1 April following endorsement by the College of Commissioners.

Ms Gómez Solano will help shape the policies of EU International Partnerships by providing advice on youth empowerment and political participation, in particular, contributing to making EU external action more participatory and effective for young people in partner countries. She is Commissioner Urpilainen’s third Special Adviser on Youth following Qyira Yusri from Malaysia and Bitania Lulu Berhanu from Ethiopia.

EU Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen said: “The challenges we are facing can only be solved sustainably if young people have seats at the table. This is at the core of the first-ever EU Youth Action Plan in external action. Natalia’s experience of climate advocacy will directly support both my work and the work of the Directorate-General for International Partnerships. In addition, as we prepare for the first EU-CELAC Summit since 2015 with the ambition to tackle increasing inequalities, her work in the Latin American and Caribbean region will be an essential asset to ensure the Summit responds to youth expectations. I look forward to working with her, and I wish to extend a heart-felt thanks to Qyira Yusri at the end of her mandate.”

About Natalia Gómez Solano

Natalia Gómez Solano is a 25-year-old environmental engineer specialised in climate adaptation, risk reduction, and participatory processes for equitable, just and sustainable development. Natalia has collaborated in climate action and youth participation advocacy for example by co-founding and chairing the Costa Rican Youth and Climate Change Network, a non-governmental organisation that brings together young Costa Ricans’ climate action knowledge, efforts and experiences to promote sustainable, resilient and low-emission development.

Ms Gómez Solano is member of the Global Center on Adaptation Youth Advisory Panel and of the Youth Committee for Disaster Risk Reduction of the Americas and the Caribbean. She participates in a local advocacy group and collaborates with the Costa Rican NGO La Ruta del Clima on climate action advocacy and research, and with the United Nations Environment Programme on climate adaptation planning.

Ms Gómez Solano co-chaired the NDC Partnership Youth Task Force for the development of a Youth Engagement Plan, and participated in the 8th Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, the 7th Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, the 56th session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation of the UNFCCC, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26). She speaks Spanish, English and German.

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