Y7: Youth voices of the G7
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Earlier this month, the G7 Youth Summit (Y7) took place in Tokyo, ahead of the official meeting of World Leaders in Ise-Shima. This meeting saw a handful of young professionals and leaders - from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the UK, the USA, Japan and the EU (Cameroon, Norway and Turkey were observers) - come together to create a single, insight-driven document. This document will be used to advise G7 World Leaders on policy development regarding the global issues to be discussed during the G7 meeting. Japan will host the G7 Summit at the end of this month. It is hoped that this meeting of World Leaders - to which Obama recently confirmed his presence - will symbolise a renewed partnership and commitment by the G7 countries to act symbiotically on pertinent global issues. International Security, Climate Change, Sustainable Development, Migration and Refugees will be the main topics of conversation, and it is expected that the G7 collective will galvanise an international and coordinated response to such challenges. This will hopefully pave the way for global cohesion on such efforts. The G7 is undoubtedly geopolitically dated; however, this does not negate from the fact that the countries constituting this group have an arsenal of capabilities and resources to contribute. They can make significant headway on resolving global issues and creating a precedent for international cooperation. Arguably, someone has to take the initial step, and the initial step - if it is to have longevity - is best taken in coordination with other powers, young and old. Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, made his commitment to youth clear by his self-appointment as Minister for Youth, and other world leaders are now realising the need and importance of youth-led policy development. Not only are younger generations next in line to inherit these global challenges, and therefore have a fundamental right to voice opinion, they are also remarkably capable of giving astute and innovative advice regarding policies and the role of youth-led development in resolving certain issues.
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