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Junior 8 Summit - St. Petersburg 2006
Address to the Leaders
We, the young people of the G8 nations, have gathered for the Junior 8 Summit 2006 in St. Petersburg.
Although our age prevents us from voting, this does not mean that we are not interested in the critical issues in our countries and the world.
Our goal is to express the ideas of the younger generation and to try to solve some of the world’s problems.
We have prepared a common document that includes our proposals on the main topics: Education, Infectious Diseases, Tolerance and Energy Security. These issues, which are also discussed by the G8 leaders this year, are closely linked with the values of the younger generation and will affect us in the future.
We would like to live on a clean planet. We want to live in a peaceful world, free from drugs, diseases, and discrimination.
We are really able to influence the situation in the world. We are starting with ourselves.
We hope to put our ideas into action and to be an excellent example for children and young people from around the world.
We are going to present to you the result of difficult but interesting work, which included discussions, interaction with experts, and video conferences with children from developing countries.
We have taken into consideration different points of view.
We strongly believe education is the foundation of everything, we want it to be accessible, equal for everyone and of high quality.
In order to accomplish equality of gender and ethnicity we must inform people of the importance of education by establishing radio programmes, which are already accessible to everyone. We must also motivate women and men into wanting a good education with the help of successful role models to whom they can relate. We want to create organisations focusing on education that will inform children that education is the key to success.
To make education more available we propose giving children incentives in schools such as free food, medical vouchers (for children and adults), immunisations, and also building water wells near schools. This would provide children with not only education but with nutrition and health as well.
For every child to receive a high quality and well-rounded education, we must implement “Learning without Borders”, a programme where children would learn about academics, ethics, peace and life-skills. We should also establish a programme called “Teaching Teachers” where educators from the developed world would go to developing countries to pass on their teaching skills.
We need businesses to help money go towards education. We propose the Global Industry Olympics (GIO) which is a global fund focused on engaging businesses all over the world to get the Olympic spirit by giving a percentage of every sale to this fund which will help feed the poor, heal the sick, build education facilities, provide extra money for teachers salaries, provide education to children and create sustainable economic development projects.
When we worked on the G8 themes we found that education is the key solution to all of our world’s problems.
We know that infectious diseases is a huge problem for humanity, but we can fight them with education, prevention, treatment, and respect. The main goal is free basic
treatment for everyone. There are two ways to achieve it: 1) development of scientific research and provision of free diagnostics, and 2) open borders for medicine by simplifying the visa process and enabling doctors around the world to exchange their experience.
All countries in collaboration with each other must protect people from the spread of infectious diseases through education. We must have HIV prevention programs with specialists at schools and we must develop links between hospitals and schools (hospitals have responsibility for local schools). We should also send people to rural areas to educate about prevention and mothers breast-feeding. We want free accessible male and female condoms especially in developing countries along with information.
We can solve the problems of stigmatization through educational information about infectious diseases. There is also a need for role models who are living with HIV or other infectious diseases to eliminate stigma. Through this people will understand that infected people are human beings and that everybody should respect each other.
Malaria is one of the top 3 killing infectious diseases, but it can be easily prevented by the distribution of free mosquito nets. Another big killer is Tuberculosis and we can solve this problem by distributing free vaccinations available for all.
We want energy to be accessible, reliable, safe and clean. By encouraging the recycling of resources, more energy can be saved. Knowing this, we as young people, must have a serious attitude about conserving energy.
We request that the Kyoto protocol should be expanded and updated, changing the focus to the diversification of energy supplies and the development of energy partnerships. All G8 countries should support this new protocol, in order to encourage other countries to sign.
We propose that an extra tax should be implemented on electricity and oil products that are being used in excess to discourage the over usage of energy resources and to help fund alternative energy resources.
We suggest setting up an independent organisation, which would coordinate energy trading, research and partnerships on a global scale. G8 countries would have to contribute a certain amount of money to fund the organisation.
We support the use of alternative energy resources such as wind power, solar power, nuclear energy, hydroelectric power and biomass fuels. We feel that utilising alternative resources will help alleviate the issue of global warming. However, the problems of nuclear terrorism and nuclear waste cannot be ignored. We propose tightened security for nuclear reactors and waste. We should encourage research for finding new environmentally friendly ways to dispose of nuclear waste.
We believe that the best way to support developing countries with energy issues is to help them by sharing technologies such as solar panels or wind farms, investing infrastructure, and also encouraging them to implement facilities on their own.
Violence and tolerance
We should never forget that every individual is a human being. Therefore everyone’s religion, ethnicity, culture, social and physical condition must be respected.
Firstly, we need to prevent child abuse by the adults. In some countries children are mistreated by being forced to work or tortured. At first, we need the G8 countries to sign the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) then to encourage the other countries to sign the CRC. After signing the CRC we need all the countries to set up a team to fight against Child Abuse and for countries that requires financial aid, the G8 countries should help them.
Secondly we need the children to develop interest towards other groups. Therefore we ask the government in all countries starting with the G8 countries to organise school for parents. We also ask the G8 countries to encourage the Media networks to speak against violence and for tolerance. It will be effective if a strong speaker spoke against violence and they also sent people to the countries without electricity to educate people on the subject.
Also for the people who have already developed hatred, we think we need more communication between the two different groups to familiarise themselves with different nations, traditions and religions. One of the ways is to give young people the opportunity to socialise with children from different places around the world. And to achieve this, we need schools to teach children about other nationalities and also to express their own identities better, we have to teach the children of their own cultures and traditions. And from this we would like to see the children to be tolerant and not to discriminate people with physical differences or disabilities.
Finally we think there is a strong barrier between the immigrants and the natives in a country. To break the barrier we should be encouraged to communicate with each other through meetings e.g. activity days between children of different ethnicities inside and outside school where they meet and work together.
In order to make these ideas feasible we need to disseminate them among young people in our own countries, as we are the adults of tomorrow. Our work must be done not only at the summit, but also in our daily lives, in our actions, and in our attitudes.
To find solutions objectively and effectively, we feel that young people of other nations, particularly from developing countries, must take part in future Summits. If we are trying to find solutions for global issues, then we need global views, because we can’t decide for other people.
We are grateful to have this opportunity to give our views to the world leaders, and we sincerely hope that the leaders of the G8 will consider them for the future.
We see ourselves as global citizens, who have to care about everything that goes on in the world. We pledge that our passion will live on after the Summit and we call upon the youth of the world to join us. We believe in our ability to change the world.
Junior 8 Summit - St. Petersburg, Russia - 2006
Impressions from the Junior 8 Summit in St. Petersburg where young people met with the leaders of the G8 nations to voice their opinions on the future of the world.
Address to the leaders
16 July 2006: G8 Leaders meet Junior 8 Children
14 July 2006: Girls and boys from Latin America ask leaders of the G8 to combat violence
13 July 2006: At Junior 8 Youth Forum, delegates strategize to put intolerance in check
10 July 2006: Children of Junior 8 gather to share views with G8 world leaders
10 July 2006: ‘Junior 8’ Youth Forum opens in Russia
Stories, by John Varoli
Day 1: St Petersburg
Day 2: Touring the sites
Day 3: Working day
Day 4: Working day
Day 5: Delegates strategize to put intolerance in check
Day 6: President Putin's surprise visit to J8
Audios and Videos
July 14 2006: President Putin’s visit to the J8
July 13 2006: UNICEF correspondent Thomas Nybo reports on the ongoing ‘Junior 8’ Youth Forum in Pushkin, near St. Petersburg, Russia.
French youth delegate Xavier Atwell shares his thoughts on the Junior 8 summit.
Italian youth delegate Elena delle Site discusses her experience at the Junior 8 summit.
UK youth delegate James Goodall comments on events at the Junior 8 summit.
7 July 2006: UNICEF correspondent Sabine Dolan reports on the start of the Junior 8 Youth Forum in Russia.