Cabinet officials from Spain, Portugal and Latin America made a commitment here Tuesday to find workable solutions for their countries' high rate of youth unemployment, which is double that of the general population.

That was one of the chief accords reached at the 8th Ibero-American Conference on Employment and Social Security that continued for two days in the Spanish capital.

In the Declaration of Madrid, officials established ways to achieve common goals, create conditions that will provide citizens with access to decent, steady jobs, and guarantee the viability and sustainability of the social security and protection system.

"Ibero-America represents an excellent opportunity to reach our common goals, a natural sphere for the professional development of our citizens," Spain's Employment Minister Fatima Bañez said as the conference came to a close.

"Our young people expect answers adapted to the realities of the 21st century. Youth is a time of ideals, of great projects, of giving the best of oneself and of contributing work so our societies may prosper," she said.

The ministerial conference was one of several meetings leading up to the Ibero-American Summit, set for Nov. 16-17 in the southern Spanish city of Cadiz.

"The meeting helped us strengthen our ties of collaboration and discuss matters with the conviction that together we can go much farther. Days like this should serve as a permanent bridge of cooperation between individuals and institutions all across Ibero-America," Bañez said. EFE