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Japan hosts Y7 Summit

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This week, Tokyo will host the Y7 Summit – the official youth summit for the G7 countries. Groups of young delegates from across the G7 countries, in addition to observers from Japan, Cameroon, Norway and Turkey, will be welcomed to the city for four days.

The summit is similar to G7 negotiations and aims to determine a strong message from the young people of these countries, commenting on international security, labour, and sustainable development.

In the pre-negotiation (the presentation of the recommendations made by each G7 youth delegate), the main themes are telling: young people across the world are uniting in the realisation that true, equitable and just solutions to the migration crisis, climate change and terrorism must be reached. Strong leadership across the demographic spectrum must be shown in order to tackle ever-growing global concerns.

I will be attending the summit as an EU delegate for Sustainable Development. Four others make up the EU team: Head delegate Helene (from France), Kaspar (from Germany), Alexia (from Italy) and Olga (from Poland). Together we hope to effectively represent the views of young people within the EU on issues that should concern us all.

This summit will show not only how united youths are on global issues, but it will highlight the discrepancies between the real policies of world leaders and the (arguably ideological) views of younger demographics. That said, ideologists are needed at a time where ideology seems to be escaping mainstream policy and approaches to global crises.

At a time where the UK, at a national level, is questioning its membership within the EU, I have never felt more strongly tied to my EU colleagues. It seems that our ideals, policy recommendations and views on global issues are similar, and together we hope to create a stronger, united voice for youths – one that will have a greater chance of being heard by world leaders, and get us closer to making an impact.

All the members of the EU delegation are impressive future leaders. Individuals work at the Ministry of Modernisation in Argentina, attend world-class universities, are part of exciting PhD research programmes and participate in impactful projects that take an active approach in finding solutions for local and international challenges.

The idea is that this summit will communicate the voice, opinion and ideals of a generation set to inherit some of the greatest challenges ever faced by G7 world leaders.

But it's not as simple as this, as the tangible impact a summit like this can have in enacting policy change is (putting it enthusiastically) slight. The summit so far also seems to be slightly censored, or at least curtailed; for example, the discussion-agenda on Sustainable Development has excluded environmental questions, the Paris Agreement and Climate Justice – specifically relating to trade deals and the global economy.

The next few days will be very interesting. Is there a global youth consensus on pressing global issues? Do we have tangible and realistic solutions? How will these solutions be implemented?

I will be reporting live from the summit April 30th – May 3rd. As an avid environmentalist, currently working and studying at Uppsala University and organising projects on Climate Change leadership, I am intrigued and critical of these summits and their outcomes.

That being said, if there is a way of banding together the future leaders of tomorrow, with our high morals and ethos for creating a better world – or at the very least working together to accentuate the good, instead of focusing on the mess – I am all for trying!

Watch the live stream by following YEL on Twitter.

See this YouTube video to find out more:




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