Canada’s delegates to the Youth 20 Summit, Loic Bisson and Morrell Andrews, have returned from Berlin after pitching their policy recommendations directly to Chancellor Merkel. The delegates from the Young Diplomats of Canada spent nine days in Germany from June 1 to June 9 working with over 70 youth representatives from G20 member countries and international organizations to debate policy solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems. They covered a wide range of topics: from women’s empowerment, climate and energy, digitalization, the Sustainable Development Goals, and global trade. After days of negotiation sessions, the group of young leaders produced a 30 page document and delivered their policy ideas directly to the Chancellor and her Minister of Youth, Katarina Barley.
With Germany hosting the upcoming G20 Summit in July 2017, the Youth 20 Summit acted as an engagement group that allowed young people from 31 countries to provide their perspective on the 15 main issues being addressed by world leaders. Canada’s delegates worked specifically on the topics of climate and energy, as well as the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Both topics were priorities identified in their national consultation process prior to the Summit. Both Bisson and Andrews delivered remarks to the Chancellor, stressing the importance of involving youth in critical decision making processes. As speaker for her working group, Andrews stated that “we recognize that youth have a particularly important, though typically marginalized role in realizing this agenda,” while Bisson said that “we emphasize that both sovereignty and the right to development should not be excuses to not fight climate change… climate is an absolute priority.”
While in Berlin, the delegates also met with a number of prominent German politicians, as well as Ambassador Dion at the Canadian Embassy. Now back home, they are looking forward to undertaking domestic follow-up engagement to influence how the government will approach negotiations for the upcoming Summit in Hamburg.
Read the 2017 Y20 Summit Position Paper.
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Young Diplomats of Canada - Les Jeunes diplomates du Canada