Youth to Give $.02 at Forum
Published: June 21, 2013 (Issue # 1764)
Y20 Russia 2013 is a youth summit that brings together the brightest young people from the G20 countries to discuss issues closely related to the topics of the G20 Summit.
Young economic minds are working alongside the established participants of this year’s St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, as part of the Y20 Russia 2013 youth summit organized at the same venue.
The summit, which began on June 18, unites 106 young participants from the G20 countries, including five delegates from each member country and one participant from each of the six countries invited by the Russian chairman. During the first two days the young specialists held discussions about the world’s most important economic issues.
Now they are taking part in the Economic Forum, with plans to meet Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to discuss points of the agenda.
“The atmosphere created here is similar to that of real G20 summits. It is a unique opportunity to express your opinion with the most important people in the world,” said Tatiana Ushakova, assistant to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich.
This year is the first time since the summit was founded that the participants are given the task of choosing the agenda and most interesting topics for discussion themselves. Two major topics of Y20 2013 include reform of international financial architecture and sustainable development. Each trend is divided into four subtopics.
“For the first topic, the subtopics are the reform of international financial organizations, reform of financial supervision and monitoring, reform of the international capital markets and government debt management,” said Inal Ardzinba, head of the Russian delegation at Y20 Russia 2013.
“The second topic involves discussion of the sustainable development of global energy markets, streamlining of social policy, infrastructure development as well as food security and environmental protection.”
Although the ideas are global in scope, the participants offer a number of specific measures on each topic. For example, during a discussion on financial literacy the young delegates suggested including related courses in basic school curriculums, as well as financial literacy departments at leading universities of G20 countries, to be created by large financial organizations.
Another relevant topic chosen is the system of special loans for projects by young people.
“Young people, as a rule, find it hard to raise funds due to low levels of trust on the part of creditors,” said Anton Komarov, a participant and student at the Higher School of Economics.
“We think the state should start issuing special state loans at no interest, or at a rate equal to the central bank interest rate, in order to boost the entrepreneurial activities of young people and encourage economic growth,” he said.
Other ideas concern seniors who face difficulties in the job market. According to delegates, the government should launch special training programs and create a database of budgetary vacancies for older people. These jobs should be not only profitable but also allow for leisure time and hobbies. In Germany, according to the delegates, the elderly are offered jobs taking care of city gardens and parks.
Healthcare services also need to be improved, said participants. Receiving medical care abroad should also become easier.
“The G20 countries have different levels of medical services, and some medical procedures cannot be carried out in certain countries as efficiently as in others. That is why a mechanism is needed to enable patients from one G20 country to be treated in a different country,” said Komarov.
After the delegations work out a common position on the most important issues of the agenda, a final communiqué will be forwarded to the G20 leaders.
To become delegates the candidates had to pass three stages of selection after which five winners were determined, among which only one is a woman.
“I feel comfortable among the male company. I was lucky to join the delegation along with other competent young people. They are capable not only of understanding the situation in the world today, but of analyzing it precisely and identifying problem areas and realistic solutions,”, said Yekaterina Shteinberg, a student of the Russian Academy of International Trade.
Russia launched the first world youth summit in 2006. Y20 is one of the sub-forums of the G20, along with Business 20, Labour 20, Civil 20 and Think 20. The participants of all these groups prepare presentations for discussion at the G20 Summit that will take place in St. Petersburg on Sept. 5 and 6.