Y7 delegates & Cameroon, Norway and Turkey observers
We, the representatives of the next generation, call the leaders of the G7 states to action. The world’s developed nations must lead by example to deliver prosperity and social justice underpinned by the principles of equality and innovation. Our expectations are high, but we are confident they are realistic, having rooted our recommendations in research and real-world examples. As the legitimate youth platform to the G7, we are united by our profound belief that we can make a positive contribution to international decision making. Beyond the words included in this communiqué, we recognise that we are part of the solution and commit to embodying the core values driving our recommendations - as active citizens and future leaders. We demand action on:
1. International Security
Recognising that terrorism has been a major driver of global insecurity for youth in the twentyfirst century and emphasising that refugees have been major victims of the resulting instability, the Y7 urges governments to address and actively counter the root causes of radicalisation and terrorism, and to develop sustainable policies on the protection and integration of refugees.
2. Labour and Economy
The Y7 is aware of the significant opportunities presented by technological change. We underscore the importance of proactive policies to mitigate associated risks and fully harvest these benefits for society. Moreover, in light of the challenges associated with demographic shifts, we encourage measures that recognise and leverage the opportunities presented by an aging society.
3. Sustainable Development
2016 is a milestone year for international sustainable development. G7 countries must take action to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Goals (SDGs). We, the youth of the G7 countries, are committed to shaping our future in the fields of Gender Equality, Education and Social Entrepreneurship.
In addition, we urge leaders to ratify and follow through on the commitments of the Paris Agreement of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21).
We urge G7 countries to address the following youth-oriented priorities as part of the G7 Terrorism Action Plan to be adopted at the Ise-Shima Summit in May and to:
1. Establish a multilateral research consortium, in recognition of the gap in primary data and empirical research, to develop a common database of research and analysis. This should comprise academics, policy makers, and practitioners, as well as former radicals, and include assessments of past and existing counter-radicalisation and counter-terrorism policies, in order to identify and develop more effective, evidence-based policy.
2. Develop long-term, sustainable measures to address the underlying drivers of terrorism, by fostering stability and good governance in weak and failing states in Africa, the Middle East and beyond, and investing in the socio-economic development of the population at large.
3. Acknowledge the social dimensions of radicalisation and address them by empowering grassroots and community level actors to engage in innovative methods of preventive and early-intervention counter-radicalisation, including:
a. Establishing independent community centers in which radicalised individuals and their families may confidentially receive psychosocial and rehabilitative intervention to prevent escalation to violence and illegal activity;
b. Developing training programs in radicalisation identification and intervention to be included as part of the training of professionals involved in the mentorship and development of youth, such as school staff and religious and community leaders.
4. Increase efforts to counter extremist narratives, by recognising that youth are particularly vulnerable to radicalisation through terrorist groups' advanced use of online platforms to spread propaganda and recruit foreign fighters, and engaging with youth-focused or driven civil society groups and online communities, domestically and internationally, by:
a. Engaging religious and community leaders, as well as formerly radicalised individuals, to formulate and disseminate effective terrorism counter-narratives and raise awareness about the reality of joining terrorist organisations;
b. Providing publicly-funded educational programs that improve Internet literacy in order to prevent online radicalisation;
c. Strengthening legislation to investigate and prosecute practices of proselytisation by terrorist actors and advocates.
The Protection and Integration of Refugees
We urge G7 countries to:
5. Enhance support for the provision of basic goods and services in states neighbouring conflict zones to mitigate social and economic destabilisation in these host countries (e.g., through increased financial assistance to the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees and Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs).
6. Recognise our international commitment to human rights, in particular the rights of migrants in need of protection, and our condemnation of attempts to politicise the rights of civilians to protection and humanitarian aid, by:
a. Developing targeted measures to address the specific needs of vulnerable groups such as women and unaccompanied children;
b. Ensuring that refugees fleeing conflict zones are able to reach safety swiftly, legally and securely, by providing humanitarian visas or similar means of access;
c. Counteracting human trafficking through both local and international interventions that focus on breaking up trafficking networks and raising awareness of regular migration channels.
7. Commit to an internationally coordinated refugee resettlement agreement, in recognition of the significant shortage of resettlement places currently offered, based on the principle that hosting refugees is a global “public good” that should be jointly provided by the international community, by:
a. Developing an international framework for when and how to intervene on behalf of displaced populations to avoid delayed response in the future;
b. Proactively registering families as refugees in, or close to, their home country to disincentivise the dangerous journey to distant shores by sea.
8. Facilitate and promote the integration of refugees in host communities while respecting their cultural identities by:
a. Galvanising positive rhetoric such that refugees may be perceived as enhancing social capital rather than undermining national security. This should include transparent public service campaigns and curricula about the proven economic and social value of refugees;
b. Providing language classes and access to education without delay, recognising that language training upon arrival is fundamental for effective integration;
c. Adjusting certification processes for foreign skilled workers in order to afford refugees economic opportunities to live on their own means. This should include formalising a process to equip young refugees with the skills that will allow them to contribute to regional economies;
d. Providing refugees with social services at the local level, including access to psychological support and cultural mediators. This should include the establishment of a buddy program matching young refugees with young people of the host country;
e. Monitoring the allocation of funds provided to local organisations through regular operational reports to help avoid and identify mismanagement of money.
9. Pool resources and experiences to provide insights to countries that have not yet undertaken refugee resettlement.
LABOUR AND ECONOMY
We recommend that G7 countries:
10. Take steps to assess and address the risks and opportunities of new technology, in particular artificial intelligence (AI), by:
a. Establishing a working group committed to open dialogue on AI issues including the publication of biannual ‘AI Reviews’ to explore recent developments and impacts;
b. Creating an international research agency to promote open source AI;
c. Collaborating with key stakeholders, including industry, to produce ethical, privacy and security principles for developers of artificial intelligence;
d. Adopting provisions, where necessary, to meaningfully enforce prohibitions on digital industrial espionage and malicious attacks.
11. Adequately prepare individuals for the impact of technology on the labour market by:
a. Reviewing school curricula requirements, examination processes (e.g., testing critical thinking) and teaching methods (e.g., project-based classes and peer assessment) to ensure they are fit for purpose;
b. Allocating state funding to develop training for the unemployed and/or under-skilled, working with the private sector and communities;
c. Encouraging the use and development of digital tools such as ‘e-learning’ as a means of re-skilling unemployed or underemployed workers;
d. Integrating creativity development and sociological and ethical training into technical education and curricula.
12. Encourage policy makers and employers to reflect the changing labour market by:
a. Promoting alternative work arrangements (e.g., remote working, shared services, supplementary work activities), while reinforcing work/life balance, worker well-being (e.g., the right to ‘disconnect’) and disability accommodation;
b. Conducting research and/or experiments to assess the merits of a basic income/living wage;
c. Actively incorporating youth into decision making processes across all sectors;
d. Investing in the sharing economy and promoting entrepreneurial and digital skills development to preserve human capital and create employment opportunities.
13. Cooperate with least developed countries to enable the use of technology as they invest in improving relevant networks and infrastructure (e.g., smart telecommunications in health care).
We recommend that G7 countries:
14. Reduce economic inequality by ensuring the sustainable financing of existing welfare systems (e.g., social security and health care) through fair and proportional taxation.
15. Develop a national gradual retirement plan, by offering flexible working hours and adapted compensations (e.g., job sharing with a young professional).
16. Enhance intergenerational links and solidarity through promoting intergenerational sport, culture, non-profit, education and joint volunteering opportunities, especially at the local community level.
17. Accelerate technological development to reduce elderly welfare costs, while increasing the quality of life and autonomy of the elderly and enabling more human interaction by:
a. Establishing financing mechanisms, such as innovation funds, social impact bonds or business competitions;
b. Encouraging investors (e.g., through tax and credit incentives) to contribute to social and technological projects, products and services that improve elderly welfare, mobility (e.g., transport network companies, reduced fares), housing and healthcare;
c. Promoting the creation of digital tools and applications to solve human intelligence tasks, while increasing physical and cognitive activity (e.g., using crowdsourcing and gamification), and promoting digital literacy in the elderly.
18. Invest in public health promotion to help increase the Healthy Life Expectancy of the elderly by educating on good nutrition standards and empowering the elderly to manage their health condition through increasing awareness of and accessibility to Therapeutic Patient Education.
19. Connect youth and elderly through job creation by:
a. Promoting succession planning and access to capital to facilitate the transfer of existing businesses to youth and encouraging transitional job shadowing;
b. Identifying and promoting new market needs emerging from our aging societies (e.g., home care services, nursing and funeral services) and equipping those entering the labour market with the skills to serve these needs;
c. Finding balanced approaches to increase labour market participation across age cohorts recognizing the unique demographic and economic circumstances of each member country.
20. Recognise that social and labour market integration of migrants contributes to an efficient welfare system and provides an opportunity to strengthen reliable and affordable elderly care.
We urge G7 countries to:
21. Recognise that, with regard to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5, women and girls carry the burden of the vast majority of unpaid labour that is unrecognised in national GDPs and economies, by:
a. Introducing policies to strongly incentivise all parents to take an equal share of parental leave, and ensure access to universal low-cost or free child-care;
b. Encouraging reintegration programs and anti-discriminatory policies across all sectors for parents or caregivers who have been out of paid work;
c. Incentivising gender-based policy and analysis, (e.g., recognition of the disproportionate adverse effects of climate change on women; significant rate of male suicide);
d. Exploring and developing new metrics to evaluate unpaid labour in society in order to assign value to work undertaken by women and girls.
22. Tackle the root causes of gender inequality and inequity throughout school life, by:
a. Promoting inclusive and accessible education for all youth, regardless of gender or sex, founded upon connecting individuals through active citizenship;
b. Developing curricula designed with consideration to intersectional identities and minority groups, thus deconstructing harmful gender stereotypes and stigma;
c. Training teachers to both embody and teach diversity competence by sharing best practices, through mechanisms such as a G7 gender equality and equity-working group.
23. Reaffirm that women’s rights are human rights. Understanding that whilst men are also victims, the most frequent victims of gender based violence in G7 countries are young women; such violence is especially prevalent on postsecondary campuses and in the home. We suggest:
a. Harnessing the power of open data platforms to incentivise citizen led accountability platforms. For example, the data from real time reporting of gender violence instances to relevant authorities at the local community level and national level could then be used to inform future policies of recourse to combat gender based violence;
b. Creating multi-stakeholder funded centres, with wide-ranging access to include rural communities, dedicated to covering a broad range of health and education services. This should include mental health support, consent-based sexual education, destigmatisation, family planning and sexual health focused on victims of violence, and legal advice;
c. Promoting curricula containing elements on sexual health, mutual respect, youth mental health, and healthy and consent-based relationships, e.g., mandatory standardised testing of this knowledge before postsecondary graduation.
24. Recognise and raise public awareness regarding the special vulnerability of women to climate change impacts. This could include the development and dissemination of global environmental resilience training courses for women, such as emergency response to environmental catastrophes. Education We recommend that G7 countries:
25. Take immediate action to reach the goal of SDG 4 - inclusive and equitable quality education - and promotes lifelong learning opportunities for all by 2030. G7 countries should recognise that high levels of student and youth debt stifles innovation, influencing and limiting the career path of young people by:
a. Aiming to adopt income-based sliding scale tuition fees at all post-secondary institutions to improve access to and equality in higher education. Implement loan payment schemes, which are scaled to each person’s income level;
b. Exploring tools for innovation in managing finance and debt issues related to postsecondary education, such as research experiments into basic income/living wage;
c. Recognising and raising public awareness about the home-learning environment as an integral part to a child’s development, possible policies include incentivising parenting classes and after school programs.
26. Adopt curricula, with equitable access in both rural and urban areas, regarding:
a. Prioritising practical life skills including health and mental wellness and personal finances;
b. Opportunities for transferable skills that will prepare individuals for meaningful access to job markets (e.g. paid work, internship, co-op, apprenticeships);
c. Critical civic education developing identity and community to result in a sense of belonging. Social Entrepreneurship We urge G7 countries to:
27. Build risk tolerant ecosystems that are unnecessary for social entrepreneurship to thrive, by:
a. Adopting new technologies to streamline and simplify the regulatory framework to foster new enterprise creation by taking concrete steps to reduce bureaucracy surrounding online business operations;
b. Providing significant tax breaks, dynamic advisory services and/or student debt-relief to young social entrepreneurs;
c. Incentivising investment in social enterprises through innovative financial tools such as partial investment recovery for individuals, with specific attention to underdeveloped areas affected by youth unemployment;
d. Promoting social enterprises that leverage collective intelligence, which include digital platforms and technological hubs that facilitate participative democracy, and active citizenship;
e. Improving access to capital and markets for young social entrepreneurs;
f. Offering accessible innovative financing programs to the young social entrepreneurs of the G7 countries with a strong emphasis of private sector involvement (e.g., social impact bonds as a starting point).
28. Rethink school curricula to include social entrepreneurship as a tangible career path for youth by:
a. Including social entrepreneurship related subjects in all school programs.
b. Offering youth practical engagement in social entrepreneurship during their secondary and postsecondary;
c. Offering incentives for schools to engage with their local communities, particularly with local businesses; d. Targeted scholarships for youth social entrepreneurs.
We sincerely thank Japan for hosting this successful Y7 Summit, and look forward to the next official Y7 Summit in Italy 2017 under the Italian Presidency. 8