Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

G8 Youth Summit looks beyond Trade, Tax and Transparency to focus on Equality, Poverty, Health and Peace

Sun 16 June 2013, 3:55pm

Around a hundred 16-25 year olds from across Ireland converged on the G8 summit site a month early to put together a shared vision of the top four issues they wanted the G8 leaders to address.

G8 Youth SummitBefore they left, the young people attending the G8 Youth Summit presented their ideas to the British Secretary of State, US Consul General, as well as representatives of the NI Assembly, Irish government, the EU and other civic and church leaders.

While the G8 leaders will focus their summit on “Trade, Tax and Transparency”, the youth summit “looked beyond the current economic crisis and acknowledged our world of inequality, starvation, unnecessary death and injustice.”

Through challenging but respectful discussion we agreed on the four most important, critical issues: Equality, Poverty, Health, and Peace.

They expanded upon their four top issues (which are also contained in the video above):

EQUALITY. We want a world where everyone is equal regardless of race, gender, sexual orienttion, religion, ethnicity, age, and ability or disability. Too often the world’s media focuses on difference, creating tension. We want greater commitment from our governments, our media and our societies to seek out and promote common ground in our differences. People should be able to be themselves without fear of prejudice or persecution.

POVERTY. We want to see much greater commitment from our governments to the even distribution of wealth, both locally and globally. All people have a basic human right to adequate food, clean water, shelter and clothing. Education is critical, enabling children to grow and flourish as individuals contributing to their community and their economy. We believe in fair trade to create a world in which justice and sustainable development are at the heart of trade structures and practices, so that everyone through their work can maintain a decent and dignified livelihood and develop their full potential.

HEALTH. We believe in universal health care that is free and accessible to all people around the world. It should not be dependent upon where we live or how much money we have. We want to see greater commitment from our governments to ensure that health care is not seen as a money-making industry, but as a basic human right. It is crucial that mental health should have the same importance as physical health. We want to see greater efforts around the world to provide mental health services and reduce associated stigma.

PEACE. We want all governments to show much greater commitment to negotiation and dialogue as a way of resolving conflict. We want military intervention to be the very last resort and not the first response. We want a world that is free from the threat of nuclear and chemical warfare, meaning all governments will decommission these capabilities. We want greater efforts to resolve long-standing conflicts and liberate child soldiers. We are concerned at the de-humanising of warfare through the use of drones, and the indiscriminate killing of civilians. We want governments to demonstrate greater value for human life, creating a safer world for generations to come.

The communiqué from the young delegates finished:

Now it is up to you. We want you, the leaders of the G8, to listen to us. We want you to see that we care about the world you run, and we want you to do everything in your power to create the world we envision. After all, we are the future, and the future is in your hands.

The G8 youth summit was organised by The Fermanagh Trust in partnership with Co-operation Ireland and Future Search Network.

I wonder how this will compare with the statements that are issued at the close of the G8 adult summit?

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Comments (21)

  1. To be totally frank Youth Forums, Youth Parliaments are little more than evidence that the voting age should be raised to….at least 45.
    I dont think any reasonable person cares what young people think.
    And these sixth form people and students really need to get a life.

    They are beyond parody. This kinda thing and having a Twitter account and texting like minded “young adults” is NOT being involved in politics. It is play acting and dress up games.
    Even BBC Question Time last week was about young people.

    Young adults…real ones…deserve a voice.
    They dont deserve to be patronised like this pre-G8 nonsense.

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  2. FJH – how do you propose the “real ones” get their voices heard?

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  3. I dont propose anything.
    But who exactly are these young people? What schools do they attend? What colleges?
    A considerable number of young people aged 16-25 are not in school or further education. many are unemployed, working in low paid jobs in Burger King and in factories.
    What proportion of young people of this age group are in “education” and are they perhaps over-represented in this kinda forum.
    is the US Consul, civic and church leaders, the British and Irish governments really that interested in views expressed by a low paid .
    employee at McDonalds or in the local Job Centre. Its elitist

    What do young people get out of it.
    A few more followers on Twitter.
    A group photograph to be put on Facebook.
    A chance to show off their skills like a political Pop Idol.
    And I suppose there was plenty of opportunity to socialise.
    And an interesting paragraph on a CV for a place at Oxford or Cambridge. Or for interning with a MLA or TD before getting a job with a lobby company or a firm of solicitors.
    What was actually discovered?
    Young people DO like Peace.they DO like Health. They DO like Equality….but they DONT like Poverty.
    So far so good.
    With the possible exception of old men running a political blog….there is nothing quite so ridiculous as the concept of a G8 Youth Summit Communique.
    Most people here are probably young to remember patronising YOOF programmes on 1980s TV. This is what happens.

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  4. cynic2 (profile) says:

    They forgot Love, jobs for all, a minimum wage of at least £30000 a year for everyone in teh world, etc, etc, etc

    My i am getting old and cynical

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  5. Don’t be cynical guys. These young folks will be leaders in 20 or 30 years so perhaps we should pay them some attention.

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  6. Unfortunately this is true Mister Joe.
    but they are being “groomed” and I dont like that.

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  7. Alias (profile) says:

    “We want a world where everyone is equal regardless of race, gender, sexual orienttion, religion, ethnicity, age, and ability or disability.”

    Pass the sick bucket…

    There is a 100% probability that any 25 year old man who put his name to that pre-teen twaddle is a professional virgin named Rupert or Sebastian with a personality that is ideally suited to a career as a mortuary technician.

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  8. You certainly cannot be accused of hyperbole, can you Alias?

    Anyone hiding by the name of Alias and frequenting spouting a load of nonsense including generalized man playing, is, with a 100% probability, a ……

    Feel free to add a description.

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  9. Tochais Síoraí (profile) says:

    FFS, what did ye expect except anodyne stuff that a bright 10 year old could come up with? Look at the state of them, suits and ties, jumpers and slacks – were they dressed by their Grannies?

    Could we not do any better than this?

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  10. Alias (profile) says:

    Joe, you’re reverting to your ‘Pippakin’ ways again, i.e. spamming threads with banal conversational snippets that are best suited to boredhousewifeforums.com.

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  11. Michael (profile) says:

    To be fair they all bothered their arse getting out of bed on a weekend and spending it talking to each other about big issues. None of you were there so you don’t know what it was like for them and whether they thought it was valuable, which at the end of the day is a lot more relevant than most of these ill-tempered and sneering contributions.

    How do you know there were no employees from fast food or even unemployed?

    Assumptions are what makes everything we know wrong. Be a bit more open minded you curmudgeons.

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  12. I merely ask the question.
    Apparently 1,500 tickets to see Obama today.
    Young people listening to him….selected in schools and colleges.
    Maybe even a few from community projects.
    But it should be fairly easy for US Consulate to give us a breakdown on how they were distributed.

    I applaud youth members of DUP, UUP, SDLP and Sinn Fein who give up their time to canvas support or work voluntarily in an advice centre.
    Politics is about giving advice on the Boiler Replacement scheme, filling in a DLA form and like I say God Bless ‘em that do it.
    Mol an Oige and all that.
    but a jamboree in Dublin or anywhere else to be patronised and tweeting photographs to your mates is not actually Politics at all.
    Its spoofing.

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  13. Michael (profile) says:

    There’s plenty of room for all types of dialogue. Just find the one you are happiest with and let others get on with theirs. Some of those people might have even heard of Slugger O Toole, maybe, but still choose to use a different form of expressing dearly held opinions.

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  14. Alias (profile) says:

    Michael, they may have had high hopes but they all ended up sounding like a bunch of Miss World contestants circa 1975 (“I want to promote world peace and harmony between all races, etc”). Was that twee twaddle really the best that ‘bright your things’ could come up with? If they aren’t embarrassed by it, they should be.

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  15. Alias (profile) says:

    bright young things, even…

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  16. Reader (profile) says:

    Alias: Was that twee twaddle really the best that ‘bright your things’ could come up with? If they aren’t embarrassed by it, they should be.
    I don’t think that’s fair. Young people tend not to be in control of their own income, and see the role of government as being the distribution of resources; not as protecting and extending those resources. Under the circumstances naive worthiness is a reasonably creditable outcome. My generation would probably have demanded free beer and LPs.

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  17. FuturePhysicist (profile) says:

    Trade, Tax and Transparency would actually be good tools for achieving Equality, Peace, Universal Healthcare and Poverty reduction, so why on Earth should we look beyond them?

    Without Private Sector using trade, without Public Sector using taxes and without Community and Volunteer Sector using transparency of the problem to draw in helpers all the practical measures are dismissed for a talking shop scorning bad things.

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  18. BluesJazz (profile) black spot says:

    Reading through the anodyne wishlist, what they want is Trotskyism. It’s a paraphrase of the Communist Manifesto, delivered, as Alias says, in a Miss World manner.

    Reader: what’s wrong with free beer?

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  19. FuturePhysicist (profile) says:

    If they want Trotskyism let them vote for it, I’d rather a United Left won seats and tried to argue the case than have the disenfranchised Trots become pub professors deterring people from representative democracy or any emancipation action.

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  20. Alias (profile) says:

    “My generation would probably have demanded free beer and LPs.”

    At least that request for the material things in life would have been more sincere than this aspirational nonsense. But to be fair, they didn’t write it: it was most likely presented to them by the organisers as a pre-determined saccharine spiel that was presented to them as being the collective outcome. After all, NGOs and ilk couldn’t risk an outcome where the ‘bright young things’ demanded less state entitlements for the unproductive funded by taxation on the productive and more taking responsibility for your own success/failure in life, could they? Heaven forbid a culture should ever be engineered that rendered NGOs and state control/intervention in our lives obsolete. In practice, most of these folks will probably earn good incomes and will grow to resent paying ever more of those incomes in taxes to fund the type of nonsense that the NGOs have led them to think they now want.

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  21. Young folks are still travelling along the path to maturity -What a surprise.
    Young folks are still idealistic – gives some hope for the future.
    Young folks haven’t yet become bitter and twisted people, full of bile and convinced that their glasses are way more than half empty, and that they alone know everything about all things, unlike some public commenters – hope they continue to avoid such a fate.
    Young folks will be looking after me if I manage to hang around long enough – much appreciated..

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