Time to act! International youth summit J7 to take place from 6 to 14 May 2015 in Berlin / Meeting with Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel
In June Germany will host this year’s G7 Summit, during which the heads of state and government of the seven leading industrialised nations will discuss pressing global political issues. However, before the world’s most powerful political leaders arrive in Germany, it’s the younger generation’s turn. On the initiative of Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ) and UNICEF Germany are inviting young delegates to come to Berlin from 6 to 14 May 2015 to attend the international J7 Youth Summit. BMFSFJ has commissioned IJAB, the International Youth Service of the Federal Republic of Germany, to organise the event. J7 officially forms part of the dialogue with civil society that itself is part of the G7 Summit in early June in Schloss Elmau, southern Germany.
Young delegates discuss the issues of the G7
Teams of six committed young people from each of the G7 states will attend J7 to debate the key issues of the summit of the G7 heads of state and government. The young delegates will meet Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel to present her with their results and recommendations on 11 May. A meeting with high-level representatives from the other G7 countries is also planned.
Children and young people have a right to voice their opinions and have them taken into account in all matters that affect them. The G7 leaders’ decisions impact heavily on young people's lives and futures. J7 is an opportunity for young people to make their voices heard at the highest international level.
“We all agree that we have to change something. But unfortunately we often forget who should make those changes and who can actively shape the future. So it’s all the more important that today, the adults, decision-makers and change agents of tomorrow are given a voice so that a better future doesn’t just end up as a pretty plan on cold, white paper.” Kira Lena Zerwer (19), UNICEF Youth Ambassador of 2012
„Responsibility to Act“
The J7 Summit is entitled “Responsibility to Act”. During the Summit the young delegates will focus on the following key issues:
Under “Protecting our planet”, delegates will discuss the protection of the marine environment and marine governance, focus on how to use resources effectively, and discuss the fight against climate change.
“Building a healthy future for all” is all about promoting healthy lifestyles and combating diseases, especially those that are caused by poverty, and fighting antibiotic resistance.
Under “Empowerment of women: Building an equitable future for all”, participants will focus on access to education and the realisation of equal rights for all men and women, and girls and boys.
“Fair economy” examines standards for fair supply chains as well as the fight against poverty.
Under “Participation and empowerment”, J7 delegates can contribute additional issues that they feel strongly about.
Young people aged 15 to 17 from the G7 states can visit the multilingual website www.j7summit.org for more information and apply to take part in J7 by 15 March 2015.
Interested applicants should have a good command of English, have already worked on one or several of the issues on the G7 Summit agenda, and demonstrate a long-term commitment to children’s and young people’s rights.
A jury of young people and adults will select a team of six boys and girls to represent Germany at J7. The other G7 states’ delegations will be chosen by the UNICEF National Committees in those countries.