Report: Analyzing the Y20 and G20 Outcome Documents: Comparing the Present and Future of Progressive Policy

By Sandra Morrell Andrews, YDC Delegate to the 2017 Youth 20 Summit
Originally published by Youth20 Germany at: https://y20-germany.org/y20-g20-comparative-analysis/

The Youth 20 Dialogue

From June 2nd to June 8th 2017, over 70 young delegates representing 23 countries and eight international organizations gathered in Berlin to discuss matters of policy and cooperation under the auspices of the overarching themes of the German G20 presidency: building resilience, improving sustainability, and assuming responsibility.

It is the hope of the delegates of the 2017 Youth 20 Dialogue that leaders from around the globe will prioritize and meaningfully include the perspective of young people in policy decisions, recognizing that the youth of their countries are critical partners for progress.

The contents of this document reflect the different nationalities of the delegates, drawing upon their diverse and valuable professional, academic, and cultural experiences. Their efforts clearly illustrate that young people possess the requisite competencies and dedication to address our most pressing issues in a collaborative, inclusive, and progressive way. Most importantly, the recommendations referenced in this report communicate their greatest aspirations for a more secure, prosperous, and equitable world for all people.

This report was made possible thanks to the generous investment of the German government.

Executive Summary

In July 2017, the G20 Leaders’ Summit was held in Hamburg, Germany. On the agenda were 15 pressing issues of consequence for people across the globe: Global Economy, International Trade, Employment, Digitalization, Climate and Energy, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Women’s Empowerment, Displacement and Migration, Countering Terrorism, Anti-Corruption, Health and Wellbeing, Food Security and Agriculture, Taxation, Partnership with Africa, and International Financial Markets. Commitments related to these topics were included in the G20 Leaders’ Declaration, as well as in 15 official agreed documents.

One month prior to the Hamburg Summit, the Youth 20 Dialogue (the official youth engagement group of the G20) was held in Berlin. Topics deliberated by the delegates and incorporated into the Y20 Position Paper included: Global Economy, International Trade, Employment, Digitalization, Climate and Energy, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Women’s Empowerment, Displacement and Migration, Countering Terrorism, Anti-Corruption, and Health and Wellbeing.

The aim of this report is to comparatively analyze the 11 common topics covered by the Youth 20 Dialogue and G20 Leaders’ Summit. It seeks to methodically establish the scope of each topic; highlight concerns identified in the Y20 and G20 meeting documents; critically compare each group’s commitments, recommendations, and communiqué content, while also noting the contrasts and similarities in approach; and finally, contribute additional brief contextual details that are important to consider for the given topic.

Global Economy

Summary and Scope of Findings
In this topic, the Youth 20 Position Paper and G20 outcome documents reflect a fairly similar approach. The main differentiation is in the detail of proposed plans that each go into, as well as in the focus on macroeconomic policy by the G20 and attention to both the macro and micro level by the Youth 20 Dialogue.

Problems Identified
Within the G20 Leaders’ Declaration it is acknowledged that growth remains weaker than desired. There is reference to the need to “promote greater inclusiveness, fairness, and equality” (pg. 3). Further, in the G20 Action Plan “weak productivity growth, income inequality, and ageing populations” are cited as major issues (pg. 2). Within the Y20 Position Paper the remnants of the global economic crisis and “lack of youth involvement in the global economy” (pg. 4) are identified as major issues. The Position Paper also highlights youth outside of employment and education as depressants for economic growth.

Comparative Analysis
In the context of this issue the outcome documents of the G20 and Y20 echo each other closely. They reference similar concerns stemming from inequality and weak growth as a result of the 2008 financial crisis. Both recognize the need for inclusive growth, stability, and fairness in the global economy. Both groups have offered monetary and fiscal policies to support economies, in addition to fair and modern taxation, job creation, global exchange rate commitments, and growth strategies as remedies.

Whereas the G20 Action Plan also goes into detail about the need for structural reform, the Y20 does not. Further, the G20 Action Plan goes further to put forward short, medium, and long-term plans to support the global economy with country-specific examples.

Overall, the G20 documents appear to take a more macro-level approach than the Y20. In addition to macroeconomic policy, the Y20 explicitly discusses the need for countries to support the sharing economy as well as micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) growth. The Y20 Position Paper also expressly recognizes youth as catalysts in generating sustainable global growth, while the G20 documents do not.

Notable Considerations
From the youth perspective, it is reasonable to see a greater attention to the microeconomic dimension, as youth tend to be most impacted by these policies; for example surrounding regulation of the sharing and gig economy or with policy toward micro and small enterprises where young entrepreneurs are most likely to be affected.

International Trade

Summary and Scope of Findings
On the theme of international trade the Youth 20 Position Paper and G20 Leaders’ Declaration identify very similar concerns, as well as the importance in more equal distribution of the benefits of trade. Consequently, the policy solutions identified are also very similar, with a greater emphasis by the Youth 20 Dialogue on the ways to combat the widely recognized problem of protectionist sentiment among the population through local solutions.

Problems Identified
The G20 documents highlight a need to fight protectionism and unfair trade practices, recognizing that the benefits of international trade have not been widely felt by everyone. The Youth 20 Dialogue also identified these problems, adding that a lack of trade literacy and lack of proper resource distribution are contributing to “diverse challenges” (pg. 6) related to international trade.

Comparative Analysis
Both the Youth 20 and G20 view international trade as being mutually advantageous and a vital aspect of sustainable global growth. Based on their similar evaluations of the opportunities and problems surrounding the topic of international trade, the G20 documents and Youth 20 Position Paper acknowledge the importance of a number of the same solutions including: more inclusive trade for all, elimination of unfair trade practices, a respect for the rules-based trading system under the auspices of the WTO and OECD, the need for greater transparency in trade, and more robust implementation of international standards related to labour and environmental frameworks.

The Y20 Position Paper differs in its call for more extensive labour market reforms with attention to MSMEs and the need for greater trade literacy to combat protectionism and inform people about the benefits of international trade. Further, while the Y20 document does, the G20 Leaders’ Declaration does not discuss the need to reduce trade costs for exporting MSME, nor does it call for more flexible labour markets that allow workers (including women and youth) greater access to work across borders. Again, the leaders’ document appears to deal with the topic in a macro level, mentioning multinational enterprises but not the local population that the Y20 recognizes as needing greater disbursement of the benefits of international trade.

Notable Considerations
Recommendations contained within the Youth 20 Position Paper focus on the tangible means to address the particularly evident issue of protectionism spurred by growing nationalist sentiment around the world.

Employment

Summary and Scope of Findings
Employment poses a point of significant synergy in the comparison of Y20 and G20 outcome documents. There is a near unanimous acknowledgement of the problems related to the state of current and future employment. Interestingly, both groups put forward youth-specific policies to minimize the skills gap and lack of decent work, though to varying degrees.

Problems Identified
In relation to employment, the G20 Leaders’ Declaration and Youth 20 Position Paper acknowledge that the current and future worlds of work are being reshaped by digitalization. Both documents discuss that there are general challenges regarding the necessary skills of workers, their access to adequate social protections, as well as decent working conditions.

Within the Youth 20 declaration however, there is a noticeable variation in its acknowledgement of the dire situation facing over “70 million unemployed young people” (pg. 9) whose unemployment rate is approximately three times higher than that of adults. The G20 fails to appreciate this disparity in unemployment and underemployment faced by the world’s youth population.

Comparative Analysis
Areas of agreement include the need to effectively educate and train people throughout life for the future of work, with an emphasis on developing the necessary skills that employment currently and will demand in the future. In promoting decent work opportunities for the labour market the G20 and Y20 mutually recognize vocational education and training, as well as quality apprenticeships, with emphasis on opportunities for young people. While the previously identified areas of consensus apply to combatting the employment issues of youth, the G20 fails to deliver comprehensive solutions to the challenges of modern work. Conversely, the Y20 provides greater details into the measures needed to address modern employment.

Significant areas of digression include the Youth 20 call for the recognition of qualifications across borders, national skills recognition systems for skills acquired outside of formal education and training structures, the need to respect labour rights of migrant workers, universal social protections for employees regardless of the type of work, and the abolition of unpaid internships.

Notable Considerations
The work of the G20 Labour and Employment Group, specifically the Initiative to Promote Quality Apprenticeships is specifically acknowledged for its contribution to youth employment. This is a particularly pertinent topic for young people, and while the G20 Initiative for Rural Youth Employment is welcomed, the wider issue of youth unemployment and underemployment around the world remains a significant concern.

Digitalization

Summary and Scope of Findings
Digitalization is a very broad and interdisciplinary topic that encompasses numerous areas; including trade, employment, education, security, and governance. In this topic the G20 Leaders’ Declaration and youth document employ diverse understandings of how digitalization impacts policy generally, with some notable areas of overlap.

Problems Identified
With digitalization being such a far-reaching theme, there are many ways to characterize the problems that are associated with it. In the context of the G20 and Y20 however, there is overlap in understanding the basic challenges: bridging the digital gap toward greater connectivity and realizing the shift in skills and employment.

For the Y20, additional challenges associated with the theme include the “absence of an international legal framework” (pg. 11) on the internet, in addition to the danger automation poses to young people in the labour market. In the case of the G20, major issues included addressing the gender digital divide as part of the “#eSkills4Girls” Initiative, and to a certain extent cyber security as outlined in the G20 Action Plan.

Comparative Analysis
Of five recommendations put forward by the Youth 20 Dialogue, four were echoed within the G20 Leaders’ Declaration. There is a strong sentiment that countries must ensure universal digital access, promote digital literacy and skills, strengthen security related to the use of information and communications technology (ICT), and see that digitalization is leveraged to improve public administration and service delivery.

Interestingly, whereas the Y20 took a very strong stance on net neutrality and the unacceptable practice of censorship and restriction on the internet, the G20 leaders’ document fell short of explicitly decrying repressive online controls. Instead, it reaffirmed support for the “free flow of information while respecting applicable legal frameworks” (pg. 6), leaving the extent to which the internet is controlled up to each state’s policy and regulation. A further difference in approach is seen in the G20 identifying the important role of digitalization in E-commerce, SMEs, and start-ups, three areas where young entrepreneurs are often concentrated. These areas were not addressed by the Y20.

Notable Considerations
Given the fact that digitalization is such a broad topic there are a number of additional discussion points that can be explored further, including contemporary debates on the emergence of artificial intelligence, and how digital technologies are being weaponized by state and non-state actors.

Climate and Energy

Summary and Scope of Findings
Climate and energy are pressing issues that are having significant effects on the world - this is firmly emphasized by both the Y20 and G20 through a number of congruent recommendations.

Problems Identified
Climate change is identified as a premier issue by both the Youth 20 and G20 documents. While the youth explicitly say that climate change is an anthropogenic phenomenon, the G20 does not. Further, Greenhouse gas emissions are viewed by the G20 in the Climate and Energy Action Plan for Growth as something to mitigate in the goal to limiting warming to “well below 2C above pre-industrial levels” (pg. 1). This aspect of the issue is not discussed by the Y20, which does not reference greenhouse gas emissions specifically.

Comparative Analysis
In general, there are many points of agreement between the Y20 and G20 regarding how to address climate and energy. These converging views involve stressing that the Paris Agreement is irreversible and should be honoured, investing in innovation and technologies for renewable and clean energy, aiding developing countries secure clean energy sources, active monitoring of international climate change agreements, and the removal of fossil fuel subsidies. While the Youth 20 Position Paper recognizes the need for market-based solutions, taking a strong stance that “the right to pollute has a cost” (pg. 15), it fails to acknowledge that tackling climate change presents an important opportunity for sustainable growth and job creation in the way that the G20 explicitly conveys. Moreover, on addressing the issue of adaptation amidst a changing climate, the G20 outcome documents lend a greater attention to infrastructure investment and shoring up risk reduction both financially and in vulnerable communities.

As an overarching approach, the leaders’ document approached the topic of climate and energy from a high-level policy dimension - focusing on investment, infrastructure, agreements, and partnerships. The Y20 took a more blended view of the issue, focusing on the macro level policies discussed, in addition to the importance of sub-state actors like cities and youth organizations in implementing the terms of international agreements. The youth also put forward recommendations that reach the local level of societies. These include the reduction of large-scale livestock production; development of a circular economy in relation to waste management; as well as the education, awareness, and participation of citizens in combatting climate change.

Notable Considerations
The topic of Climate and Energy cannot neglect references to the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Agreement. In this case, the Youth 20 vehemently condemned the withdrawal of any state, citing that there must be punitive effects to counter any such decision. Though the G20 document did not go so far as to suggest severe measures as punishment, it did reinforce the steadfast commitment to the Agreement by all other countries, reiterating the need for full implementation.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Summary and Scope of Findings
As a successor of the Millennium Development Goals, the 2030 Agenda represents a significant and universal framework for all countries. Though differing in their approach toward including youth in the Agenda, the Y20 and G20 documents present complementary considerations for the future of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Problems Identified
Though not explicitly outlined by the Y20, the main issue identified with the 2030 Agenda is that states may not fully recognize it at the premier “social contract” (pg. 16) to structure their interactions. Additionally, with ambitious and integrated targets that are on a deadline, there are implicit concerns raised in both the G20 documents and Youth 20 Position Paper that without aggressive commitment and awareness raising the Agenda may not be fully achieved by the year 2030.

Comparative Analysis
The huge significance of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals are first and foremost acknowledged in both the G20 and Y20 documents. There are a number of synergies identified with respect to seeing robust implementation of the 169 sub-targets: intense collaboration with stakeholders, the central role of the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), the crucial need to finance the Goals in line with the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and in education.

Apart from areas of overlap in commitments and recommendations, the youth declaration focuses on greater inclusion and transparency in implementation; for example, by youth participation within Major Groups and Other Stakeholders and Youth Delegate programs at the HLPF. The Y20 Position Paper also discusses the need for effective and accessible SDG monitoring systems. Within the Hamburg Update: Taking Forward the G20 Action Plan on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the leaders take a differing but very comprehensive approach, instead examining a number of themes related to the 2017 G20 topics through a cross-cutting SDG lens. Collective actions, work streams, and G20 supporting documents are all outlined in the Hamburg Update to illustrate an integration of the Agenda in all facets of policy architectures.

Notable Considerations
By design, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs apply to all priorities identified by the 2017 German presidency. Within the G20 Leaders’ Declaration all four overarching themes (Sharing the Benefits of Globalization, Improving Sustainable Livelihoods, Assuming Responsibility, and Building Resilience) include at least one reference to the Agenda. Similarly, the Agenda and its corresponding Sustainable Development Goals are referenced in a number of topics within the Youth 20 Position Paper. This trend illustrates a willingness for countries to take up the Agenda as a crosscutting framework, though this must be matched with aggressive implementation of all 169 subtargets.

Women’s Empowerment

Summary and Scope of Findings
The empowerment of women and girls is fundamental to the realization of sustainable and inclusive growth. The Y20 and G20 outcomes addressed many persistent issues related to this topic, like gender based violence, employment discrimination, and the gender gap in STEM to determine how to empower women around the world.

Problems Identified
Recognizing that gender “equality is a human right” (pg. 18), the Youth 20 Position Paper clearly identifies the global gap in access to opportunities and decision-making power for women to be a massive problem. This problem manifests disproportionately in economic and political spheres. Both the G20 and Y20 assert that women need to see a full realization of their rights, but that there is more to be done in the realms of employment, education, financial access, social protections, the economy, and in eliminating all forms of violence against women.

Comparative Analysis
Presenting remedies to address women’s empowerment, both the Youth 20 Position Paper and the G20 Leaders’ Declaration pursue a people-centered approach to policy, balancing the macro and micro levels. Both groups’ documents are in general agreement that to empower women countries must: ensure equal access to the labour market and financial services, eliminate employment discrimination, reduce the gender compensation gap, provide women protection from violence, provide quality education and training (with emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, or STEM subjects), and ensure social protections.

The significant differences rest in how the Y20 and G20 address the means of securing women’s empowerment. The Youth 20 Dialogue suggests STEM scholarships, human rights and gender sensitive education, flexible work arrangements, tax credits, potential use of quotas, and robust access to sexual and reproductive health services as means to secure empowerment for women and address the many persistent barriers. Examples contained in the G20 outcome documents focus more on women’s economic empowerment, putting forward a need for greater access to digitalization and ICT for equal participation in the digital economy, in addition to efforts to bolster women’s entrepreneurship. Significant resource mobilization has been committed to these fronts, as laid out in the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative and the G20 Initiative “#eSkills4Girls:” Transforming the Future of Women and Girls in the Digital Economy.

Notable Considerations
Though not exhaustively, gender equality and women’s empowerment has been mainstreamed as an overarching theme throughout the G20 Leaders’ Declaration penetrating: Employment, Financing, Digitalization, Agenda 2030, Partnership with Africa, and Displacement and Migration.

Displacement and Migration

Summary and Scope of Findings
The impact of displacement and migration on populations can have long-term development impacts socially, intellectually, culturally, psychologically, and physically. To address these recognized challenges the Y20 and G20 outcome documents have very different policy approaches with little overlap.

Problems Identified
It is stated in the Youth 20 Position Paper that “one out of every 133 people worldwide” are displaced, being either a refugee, asylum seeker, or internally displaced person (pg. 21). Both the Y20 and G20 documents are in unanimous agreement that the world is facing historic levels of migration and forced displacement of people. Factors like political, social, and economic conditions, as well as conflict, natural disasters, and human rights violations are causing this trend. This situation is exacerbated by the smuggling and trafficking of persons across borders. The G20 leaders acknowledge there are a number of complex challenges (pg. 14).

Comparative Analysis
Within the Youth 20 outcome document, the focus is primarily on refugees and asylum seekers due to their particularly vulnerable status. The G20 document covers displacement and migration generally. Both the Y20 and G20 seek to address the root causes of displacement. To do so, the Youth Dialogue urge for the full implementation of Security Council Resolution 2250, the Paris Agreement, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The G20 seeks to address the root causes through joint global efforts and aid to fragile countries.

Whereas the G20 Leaders’ Declaration gives support and recognition of the “express sovereign right of states to manage and control their borders” (pg. 14), it does not compel a greater number of states to establish fair, transparent, and accessible asylum, refugee, or migratory pathways to ensure that displaced populations have safe routes. This differs greatly from the Youth 20 recommendations which urge countries to: define the status of climate refugees, agree on clear guidelines for fair and just asylum procedures, create legal channels for people to seek safe passage, and to share responsibility in welcoming refugee populations with appropriate levels of support. On this topic G20 documents primarily applaud countries for voluntarily accepting displaced populations, while the Y20 looks toward facilitating greater inclusion and safer passage for those fleeing instability or persecution.

Notable Considerations
This topic has become increasingly politically sensitive, especially with a number of ongoing refugee crises in the Middle East and Mediterranean. Migration can be very polarizing, and the policy approach contained within the G20 Leaders’ Declaration is indicative of the likely great difficulty in garnering consensus and clear commitments from all states.

Countering Terrorism

Summary and Scope of Findings
The ongoing threat of international and domestic terrorism is undeniable. Both the Y20 and G20 outcome documents include reference to the need to effectively combat the issue, but there is moderate consensus between their policy positions.

Problems Identified
In the Hamburg G20 Leaders’ Statement on Countering Terrorism, the leaders strongly condemn all terror attacks, referring to terrorism as a “global scourge” that must be eliminated (pg. 1). Specific concerns that the leaders address include: the return of foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs), vulnerabilities in aviation security systems, terrorist financing, and the underlying conditions in society that terrorists exploit. It is interesting to note that none of these problems are identified within the Youth 20 Position Paper. Rather, the Y20 considers the main problems to be: lack of global citizenship education, lack of political cooperation, lack of information sharing, and the danger of isolation as a catalyst for radicalization.

Comparative Analysis
When examining the differences in approach between the leaders’ statement and Y20 document it is evident that the former’s solutions focus almost entirely on addressing the macro level. The Y20 tends to put more emphasis on the micro level of policy. For example, the prominent three areas outlined by the G20 address enhancing government-government cooperation and commitments, fighting terrorism financing, and countering radicalization on the internet. All three are examples of big-picture policy goals that tend to neglect the individual or local aspect of the issue.

In the case of the Youth 20, its recommended policies are more focused on the micro level, with local and individual considerations. Global citizenship education plays a significant role in the concept of creating a digital platform as a means of countering extremism; combining civic engagement, government resources, polling, security advice, and incentives to remain committed. The Y20 recognizes that the only way to successfully combat terrorism is through “close collaboration at the local, national, and global levels” (pg. 23). The G20 document mentions the role of civil society and other stakeholders in its agenda to eliminate terrorism, but it does so only briefly and in the very last clause. Both the Y20 and G20 present comprehensive policies, but at different levels of the policy discussion.

Notable Considerations
Countering Terrorism is not included as one of the themes addressed in the G20 Leaders’ Declaration. Throughout the document, terrorism generally is only referenced in the preamble and with respect to International Tax Cooperation and Financial Transparency.

Anti-Corruption

Summary and Scope of Findings
Corruption, a practice that is detrimental to socio-economic development, is cited by the Youth 20 as costing countries an estimated 2% of GDP annually in the form of bribery alone (pg. 25). Both the Y20 and G20 commit policies to combat the issue, with the youth focused more on transparency and engagement with civil society, and the leaders on numerous robust mechanisms to hold perpetrators accountable.

Problems Identified
There are a number of problems defined within the discussions of corruption in the Y20 Position Paper and official G20 outcome documents. As a multi-faceted issue, the Y20 regards the main problems to be the ability for corruption to thrive when citizens lack knowledge of political participation and decision-making, as well as limited transparency and access to information on government and country practices. In its comprehensive series of outcome documents (G20 Leaders’ Declaration, G20 High Level Principles on Combatting Corruption Related to Illegal Trade in Wildlife and Wildlife Products, G20 High Level Principles on Organizing Against Corruption, G20 High Level Principles on the Liability of Legal Persons for Corruption, and G20 High Level Principles on Countering Corruption in Customs) related to corruption, the close relationship to organized crime and terrorism is seen as a major problem, in addition to the losses from: taxation, legal international trade, investment, and public funds.

Comparative Analysis
In the G20 High Level Principles on Countering Corruption in Customs it is recognized that “corruption can be combated effectively only as part of a comprehensive strategy that is adapted to national and local contexts” (pg. 1). This sentiment is reflected by both the G20 and Y20, though through differing means. The Youth 20 puts forward solutions to: increase civic access to government practices and information related to business and contracts, publicly list individuals and entities linked to corruption, implement peer-review mechanisms within the Anti-Corruption Working Group, and centralize country commitments to fighting corruption in an accessible G20 portal. The strategy identified by the G20 is far more comprehensive, and focuses on the high level policy and regulation that can be employed to curtail corruption in relation to: government contracts, large sporting events, in wildlife trafficking, and customs regulations in both the public and private spheres. The G20 documents also compel countries to ratify the UN Convention against Corruption, an element not considered by the Y20. Broadly, the G20 takes a more nuanced approach to the issue in a number of areas, while the Youth Dialogue considered a narrow civic-minded approach to anti-corruption.

Notable Considerations
Corrupt practices affect all countries to some extent, and the commitments outlined in the outcome documents position G20 countries to be role models in fully implementing their own Anti-Corruption Action Plan. This is a challenge however, as many countries experience corruption and bribery as deeply entrenched practices in the public and private sector.

Health and Wellbeing

Summary and Scope of Findings
Global health and wellbeing is a topic that every country has a stake in ensuring, and G20 countries have a crucial role to play. On this theme, the Y20 and G20 note their priorities, with the G20 focused on physical health of populations, global health institutions, as well as preparedness. With attention to physical and mental health considerations, the Y20 includes a rights-based analysis in its policy recommendations that the G20 lacks.

Problems Identified
On the topic of global health there are a number of challenges facing countries everywhere. Between the Youth 20 Position Paper and G20 Leaders’ Declaration some of the shared, primary concerns include: cross-border health emergencies, emergency preparedness and responsiveness, and cooperative action to ethically develop the health workforce. Each document goes further to specify other problems. The Y20 further identifies mental health as well as harmful and unhealthy products, whereas the G20 specifically notes that diseases like Polio and Tuberculosis need to be eradicated, in addition to antimicrobial resistance and its growing threat to public health.

Comparative Analysis
A very strong point of convergence between G20 commitments and Y20 recommendations is in the premier role of the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations as venues for establishing standards and cooperation on global health issues. Both the Youth Dialogue and the G20 Leaders’ Declaration also call for bolstered international funding to address emergency response and preparedness, sustainable global health capacities, and affordable access to medications. There is a substantial difference in the manner that the topic is further addressed by the Y20 and G20.

The Youth Dialogue utilizes a rights-based understanding in its recommendations. This includes its recognition of health as a fundamental human right rooted in universal health coverage (UHC) that ensures access to healthcare is de-linked from socio-economic and legal status of a person. The Y20 goes further to insist that countries recognize sexual and reproductive health rights and accessible services for the disabled and those with chronic health conditions as vital components of the right to UHC. This varies significantly from the contents of the G20 Leaders’ Declaration with respect to strengthening health systems. While there is a recognition of UHC as a target of the 2030 Agenda, the document fails to position universal coverage as a fundamental right for all people. Rather, the G20 document focuses more on greater collaboration on global health issues through multilateral fora as well as research and development. The latter of which is supported through the creation of a new ‘R&D Collaboration Hub’ for clinical research and development.

Notable Considerations
The absence of the inclusion of mental health and wellbeing in the G20 Leaders’ Declaration is in sharp contrast when compared to its inclusion by the Youth Dialogue. This omission, especially in light of the Y20 statement on the “burden of youth including mental health” (pg. 27) is indicative of the persistent bias that plagues discussions surrounding mental health.

References

Group of Twenty. Annex to G20 Leaders' Declaration: G20 Action Plan on Marine Litter. Hamburg, Germany: Group of Twenty, 2017.
———. Annex to G20 Leaders' Declaration: G20 Hamburg Action Plan. Hamburg, Germany: Group of Twenty, 2017.
———. Annex to G20 Leaders' Declaration: G20 Hamburg Climate and Energy Action Plan for Growth. Hamburg, Germany: Group of Twenty, 2017.
———. Annex to G20 Leaders' Declaration: G20 High Level Principles on Combatting Corruption Related to Illegal Trade in Wildlife and Wildlife Products. Hamburg, Germany: Group of Twenty, 2017.
———. Annex to G20 Leaders' Declaration: G20 High Level Principles on Organizing Against Corruption. Hamburg, Germany: Group of Twenty, 2017.
———. Annex to G20 Leaders' Declaration: G20 High Level Principles on the Liability of Legal Persons for Corruption. Hamburg, Germany: Group of Twenty, 2017.
———. Annex to G20 Leaders' Declaration: G20 Initiative "eSkills4Girls." Hamburg, Germany: Group of Twenty, 2017.
———. Annex to G20 Leaders' Declaration: G20 Initiative for Rural Youth Employment. Hamburg, Germany: Group of Twenty, 2017.
———. Annex to G20 Leaders' Declaration: G20 Resource Efficiency Dialogue. Hamburg, Germany: Group of Twenty, 2017.
———. Annex to G20 Leaders' Declaration: Hamburg Annual Progress Report on G20 Development Commitments. Hamburg, Germany: Group of Twenty, 2017.
———. Annex to G20 Leaders' Declaration: Hamburg Update Taking Forward the G20 Action Plan on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Hamburg, Germany: Group of Twenty, 2017. ———. Annex to G20 Leaders' Declaration: Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative. Hamburg, Germany: Group of Twenty, 2017.
———. G20 Leaders' Declaration: Shaping an Interconnected World. Hamburg, Germany: Group of Twenty, 2017.
———. The Hamburg G20 Leaders' Statement on Countering Terrorism. Hamburg, Germany: Group of Twenty, 2017. Youth Twenty. Y20 Germany Position Paper. Berlin, Germany: Group of Twenty, 2017.

About the author

Sandra Morrell Andrews endeavors to incorporate a global perspective in everything she does. She has travelled to over 35 countries and is a recent graduate of the University of British Columbia where she completed her degree in International Relations and Political Science. As an International Development Management Fellow at the Aga Khan Foundation East Africa in Nairobi, Morrell focuses on empowering youth and civil society toward Sustainable Development Goal 8 (decent work and economic growth). As a fierce advocate for youth in the world system, she has spoken around the world about their role in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and decision making. Morrell is a true internationally-minded young leader- time zones and borders are no limit. She has represented young people six times at the United Nations and has held positions with both Global Affairs Canada and the U.S. Department of State.

In August, she was a keynote speaker at the International Climate and Eco Camp in China, organized by the government’s National Development and Reform Commission. Morrell also served as Canada’s first Youth Delegate to the UN High-Level Political Forum and as Canada’s Delegate to the Youth 20 Summit. Outcomes of these engagements include her delivery of recommendations to Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Trudeau. With multiple publications, Morrell has been internationally recognized for her research on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and has won a number of leadership awards. In early 2018 she will begin working for the United Nations Under-Secretary-General of the Department of Field Support in New York. Having worked in political, trade, and development streams, her greatest desire is to continue having a dynamic career that helps contribute to a more peaceful, equitable, and inclusive world.