Applications are now open for 18-30-year-olds to represent the UK at the 2021 Summit of the Y7 (the youth engagement group of the G7 international summit).
The Y7 (or Youth 7) is the official youth engagement group for the G7, sitting alongside the other engagement groups such as the Business 7, Society 7, Labour 7, Science 7 and Women 7. All of the engagement groups serve the purpose of ensuring that the G7 heads of states’ declaration meets the needs of all different parts of society.
The main aim of the G7 is to consider economic policy issues and manage the system of global governance. The group consists of seven countries including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, plus the European Union. Each year, the president nation hosts a G7 summit and sets its agenda – in 2021, the President nation will be the United Kingdom.
Each G7 country selects 3 or 4 young people as delegates to come together and hold a public consultation. From this point, the delegates will work on policy recommendations through the year, before finalising them at the Y7 Summit to be submitted to the G7 Presidency.
Through the Y7, delegates are able to ensure youth voices are heard by the G7 heads of states and are able to promote important issues for young people up the agenda.
In 2021, the key focuses will be on the following areas;
- Digital and Technology
- The Economy
Young people have been particularly badly affected by the Coronavirus pandemic, with many seeing their education disrupted and jobs lost.
Sophie Daud, CEO of the Future Leaders Network, which manages the Y7 in the UK, told us that she feels the G7 is especially important in 2021, given the Coronavirus pandemic and other issues the world is facing;
“The Y7 aims to represent the voices of young people and I think this is a hugely important factor in general, but now, more than ever, the Y7 is more important than it could have ever been before with the global health pandemic affecting young people’s education, employment prospects and potentially diverting attention from the things that young people care about.
“I really do think that 2021 is a huge opportunity for the youth voice to be heard at the highest level”
All young people from all different backgrounds across the UK are being encouraged to apply to take part in the Y7 – applicants just need to be 18-30 years old and have a UK passport or be or a UK citizen and be excited about youth participation in political decision making.
Ahead of a roundtable event about the G7 on Tuesday, former UK Foreign Secretary and current CEO and President of the International Rescue Committee David Miliband said:
“The world needs a strong and united democratic world more than ever. The G7 needs to show its relevance to the aspirations and voices of people seeking a more cooperative, sustainable, equitable way of living. I hope Future Leaders Network helps raise some of these voices.”
The deadline for applications to be considered as a delegate to represent the UK close on the 31 December 2020, with interviews taking place in January 2021.