Bettina Bundszus, Abteilungsleiterin im Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend begrüßte die Delegierten. Bettina Bundszus, Abteilungsleiterin im Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend begrüßte die Delegierten.
Y7 Germany 2022

Y7 Youth Summit commences

Communiqué to be presented to Federal Chancellor Scholz

The Y7 Summit, the youth summit of the G7, has begun in Berlin. Germany holds the G7 Presidency this year. The Y7 Summit marks the high point of the youth policy dialogue known as Youth7 and forms part of the G7’s dialogue with civil society. A platform for the voice of the young generation, it ensures that their policy recommendations and proposed solutions are incorporated into multilateral cooperation under the G7. The young delegates are scheduled to meet Germany’s Federal Youth Minister Lisa Paus on Tuesday, 17 May 2022.

16.05.2022 / Cathrin Piesche | Vera Lucienne Pritzkau

The delegates of the Y7 Summit come from the G7 member states Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Canada, the USA and the UK. Guest delegations from the European Union, Indonesia, Senegal, South Africa and Ukraine will also participate in the deliberations. Bettina Bundszus, Director-General at the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth attended the opening today and welcomed the delegates on behalf of the Federal Youth Minister.

“Young people should have a say in all decisions that affect them,” commented Federal Minister Lisa Paus in advance of the event. “That is the hallmark of democracy, and that is where the Y7 Youth Summit comes in. Here, the young people of the G7 states and their peers from various guest countries including Ukraine can engage with policymakers. At the national level, Germany promotes youth participation in a variety of ways, including through an action plan for child and youth participation. The Y7 Youth Summit is a major opportunity for young people to be given a louder voice in international processes, too.” The Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth provides funding for the Y7 Youth Dialogue 2022.

Y7 Summit contributes to active social participation

IJAB, the International Youth Service of the Federal Republic of Germany, is coordinating the Y7 Youth Dialogue 2022 in cooperation with the German National Committee for International Youth Work. “These past years, with the Coronavirus pandemic and Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, have again reminded us that none of the problems of our time can be solved by one nation alone,” commented IJAB Director Marie-Luise Dreber. “The international youth work community works to ensure that young people learn not only to understand global developments, but also how to play an active role in shaping them. They do so based on mutual understanding and across national borders. This requires active social participation, to which the Y7 Summit contributes in a very specific way.” 

Co-chairs Carolina Claus and Benjamin Günther are responsible for managing the Youth7 process, with support from eight volunteer coordinators. They also ensure that the contents of the Communiqué that will be drawn up during the Y7 Summit are incorporated into political practice. “Our work only really begins once the Y7 Communiqué has been adopted,” explained Carolina Claus. “That is when we start reaching out to representatives at various levels to ensure that our policy recommendations are heard.”

Priority areas

Since the spring, the young G7 representatives have been working on current issues and developing political recommendations in four priority areas:

In light of Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine, a fifth priority has been added: Youth, Peace & Security. A delegation from Ukraine will also attend the Y7 Summit upon the invitation of the Federal Chancellery.

During the Y7 Summit, the delegates will finalise their policy recommendations and adopt a joint Communiqué. Federal Youth Minister Lisa Paus has confirmed her attendance at the Summit and will meet with the delegates on 17 May to discuss their submission. The Communiqué is scheduled to be presented to Germany’s Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz on 20 May 2022.

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Panel discussions address core topics of the Summit

Immersing right into the summit’s core topics, the first panel discussion centred around the question of the power of education: how can we foster quality education globally amidst the ongoing COVID19-pandemic? Our panellists Prof Dr Andreas Schleicher of the OECD, Magdalena Fernandez Lemos of Enseña x Argentina/ Generation Chile, Prof Dr Christine Schmalenbach from the University of Hamburg, Diana Ayala of Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and Thaís Queiroz of the World Organisation of the Scout Movement discussed the most urgent issues and potential solutions: understanding the complexity and diversity of learners, aligning needs with resources and democratize education systems enabling youths to participate meaningfully. 

The second panel, addressing both the concept Feminist Foreign Policy and the nexus of Youth, Peace and Security, emphasised the necessity to promote gender equality through diplomatic relations and to actively engage youth leaders in peace processes - So the voices of women, young people and other marginalized groups are heard and considered in peace negotiations. 

Following these intense exchanges, our delegates started in Working Session #1 in their respective tracks, as the first in-person meeting after preparing and organizing online in the previous months.  A successful first day of the Y7 Summit is completed and we're looking forward to the upcoming week!