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Russian young people state their position on G8 summit agenda

January 18, 2014, 19:01 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Their action plan was presented on the final day of the Gaidar Forum in Moscow

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© Itar-Tass

MOSCOW, January 18, /ITAR-TASS/. Young people who have past preliminary qualification tests and are heading for the final round of selection for the Y8 Russia 2014 to be held in May have stated their proposals on how to solve the problems facing G8 countries.

Their action plan was presented on the final day of the Gaidar Forum in Moscow

The young delegates presented proposals covering four topics from the G8 Summit agenda: internationals security, assistance to international development, energy and climate, and information security.

They believe that the main problems facing the international community now are the conflict in Syria, the situation in Afghanistan and the spread of terrorism around the world.

In addition to the need to solve these problems, the candidates to the Russian delegation believe it necessary for the G8 countries to coordinate their fight against drug trafficking. They suggest, in particular, creating “security belts” around the countries that supply narcotic drugs by tightening control and using X-ray devices on their borders.

The young people also proposed introducing international electronic document management standards, determining the status of electronic currencies, delegating control over the Internet to an international organisation, and compiling a single register of extremist sites for all countries.

They also stated some ideas concerning the development of education, health care, and environmental protection.

Y8 Russia 2014 President Roman Chukov said “the 25 finalists worked in groups, each of which prepared its own proposals. Five Russian representatives will be selected by January 25 to advance these ideas at the international level.”

He noted that these proposals would continue to be discussed in late February at the Krasnoyarsk Economic Forum, where the heads of foreign Y8 delegations will be invited.

Starting March 1, members of all international youth delegations will be able to discuss their proposals at a single website. “The final declaration will be drawn up and the positions of the G8 young people will be coordinated at the summit, after which the document will go to the G8 leaders,” Chukov said.

He expressed hope that “the delegates will have the chance to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and present their proposals to Russian Sherpa Alexei Kvasov.”

The first Y8 summit took place during Russia’s presidency in the Group of Eight in 2006 and was followed by similar meetings in the subsequent years. This year, it will be attended by delegations from the G8 and EU countries - 45 people all in all. They will adopt a declaration to be submitted to the G8 Sherpas.

Since 2006, the Y8 has become an official event of the Russian presidency in the Group as the youth format of the G8. Every year, experts select five most talented young people from among students and university graduates to present Russia’s position in the Y8, which this time will to be held in May 2014, where young people from the G8 countries and the European Union will try to lobby their ideas. The selected ones will then be submitted to the G8 Sherpas.

Speaking to the finalists on January 15, Kvasov said they were facing “the enormous and real task” of stating the agenda. “Based on your experience and understanding of life, you have to state something in a very concise way,” he said.

“We would like this to match our presidency’s priorities,” he said. “Our task is to confirm to ourselves and the world one more time that young people are a part of the world, we have common problems and that the existing disagreements are just minor nuances,” the Sherpa said.

He stressed the importance of the Y8 because young people “are free of stereotypes.”

The Group of Eight (G8) is an unofficial forum of the world's major economies (Russia, the United States, Great Britain, France, Japan, Germany, Canada, and Italy, with the participation of the EU Leaders) designed to coordinate approaches to the most pressing issues of global affairs.

The G8 does not operate as an international organisation, not being based on an international treaty or having a charter or permanent secretariat. The decisions taken by the G8 are non-binding political commitments of the member states to follow the agreed logic of action in addressing specific issues.

The host country of the G8 annual summit is presiding over the forum throughout the year, coordinating the G8's operating activities. The rotation of the G8 Presidency starts with France (last presidency in 2011), followed by the U.S., the UK, Russia, Germany, Japan, Italy, and Canada. The EU does not host summits and cannot assume presidency.

Youth 8 summits (Y8), G8 Parliament Speakers’ meetings (Parliamentary 8), heads of academies of sciences, as well as representatives of the business community (Business 8) and civil society (Civil 8) are held within the G8 framework.

Russia has taken over the presidency in the Group of Eight from January 1, 2014. The main event of its presidency - the G8 summit - will be held in Sochi on June 4-5.

More than one hundred events will be held during Russia’s G8 Presidency in 2014.

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