Y20 Summit: Youth sherpas and official online platform among this year's successes

From left to right: Global Young Voices President Camilla Curnis with head delegates from Indonesia and India, Hanifah Ahmad and Reeya Rao, respectively. Credit: Y20 China Organizing Committee

From left to right: Global Young Voices President Camilla Curnis with head delegates from Indonesia and India, Hanifah Ahmad and Reeya Rao, respectively. Credit: Y20 China Organizing Committee

This year’s Y20 was hosted in China on the last week of July. For the occasion, participants selected a range of topics that reflect the economic problems urging to be addressed.

These include discrimination against minorities in the workplace and the scarcity of vital rights like healthcare and education, all under the umbrella of Social Justice and Equal Opportunities.

Beyond these alarming needs, the Y20 was also directed at inducing today’s youth to think about how they might govern this evermore entangled worldwide community. This second topic was gathered under the name of Partnership and Global Governance.

The Draft Communique also addressed entrepreneurship and sustainability in their various facets. As part of Entrepreneurship and Creative Thinking, the Y20 shed light on best practices to provide financial support to youth generated ventures and foster an entrepreneurial culture. Further, within the Green Life and Sustainability roundtable, delegates focused on the crucial need of creating and promoting a green culture within younger generations who will be the planet’s future inhabitants.

The last theme covered within the Y20 summit was Poverty Elimination and Joint Development apt at devising models for poverty alleviation and addressing relevant economic topics such as inclusive finance. 

Despite it being a novice in the political arena, at just four years from its inception, the Y20 has become “widely acknowledged as the highest level and most influential international diplomatic conference for young people.”

Y20 delegates with Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao. Credit: Y20 China Organizing Committee

Y20 delegates with Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao. Credit: Y20 China Organizing Committee

This year’s delegates directed special attention at giving the forum more structure and measurable continuity from year to year. Initiatives included the creation of an institutional website where all the information related to the Y20 Summits is archived. The online platform would include the Draft Communique translated in G20 languages, general information on the summit, the national NGOs connected to it, and, of course, how to become a national delegate.

Another important initiative that was unanimously approved was the introduction of the “Y20 Sherpa,” a special figure that marks the attempt of creating a connecting point between G20 governments and their local youth. This role is also extended to a panoply of other activities such as implementing initiatives directed at the dissemination of the Draft Communique among local youth, periodically connecting with peers across G20 countries and much more.

Started in 2012, the Y20s are the youth version of the G20 Summits.

The G20 is the unique come together of twenty nations into one of the world’s most progressive and pervasive economic forums. It is recognized as a very ambitious project because it encourages cross-country cooperation and aspires to create a world where economic progress and prosperity prevail.

Specifically, each G20 rotating presidency bears the responsibility of also hosting the youth summit, which usually takes place some weeks prior to the traditional forum.

The objective of the slightly earlier occurrence is that the Y20’s output, consisting of a number of policy recommendations on a wide variety of topics, is handed to the G20 officials before their summit so that they may be aware of what the youth is thinking and incorporate their suggestions in their own policy proposals.

Cover credit: Y20 China Organizing Committee