Press Centre 2008/07/10: General Information

G8 countries

Young people meet with G8 Leaders

Recommendations on pressing global issues to be presented

Toyako, Japan — Young people from Group of 8 (G8) industrialised nations and from the developing world met with the G8 leaders in Toyako, Japan on 7th July to present their recommendations as part of the Junior 8 (J8) Summit.

The J8 Summit, an initiative spear-headed by UNICEF, is an annual parallel event to the Group of 8 (G8) Summit where young people from around the world meet and discuss global issues, sharing their solutions with G8 leaders and the world community.

Nine young people — eight representing G8 countries and one from the developing world — will represent the thirty-nine J8 participants and had the opportunity to voice their concerns directly to G8 leaders when they met them face-to-face in the evening. The recommendations, taking the form of the Chitose Declaration, revolve around three topics: climate change, poverty and development, and global health.

The Chitose Declaration states:

The J8 delegates … believe that it is imperative for G8 leaders to listen to the voices of young people … Together let’s turn young people’s ideas into actions, and not just words.

Key recommendations from the declaration include:

  • The establishment of an international organisation to evaluate products based on Green Indexes such as energy efficiency, waste management, packaging, and product composition. Approved green products are labeled to promote consumer awareness and receive government subsidies to become more competitive price–wise. This will harness the free–market nature of G8 nations to facilitate positive progress.
  • The promotion by G8 leaders of non-political donations by signing a declaration prohibiting tied–aid. Though donor countries would be able to intervene in order to make sure aid is being used most effectively, this declaration would make sure G8 countries donate funds not for their own political gain but rather for the common good. This provides accountability not only toward local governments but to the people in need. We also stress the need to write–off the debts of developing nations.
  • The support by G8 governments of educational schemes including programmes on disease prevention, nutrition, sanitation and worldwide sexual education. Special programmes for women and girls must be included, as well as promoting education for men and boys on gender equality. Governments must not be allowed to restrict people from access to contraceptives and health education. Education must be supported with free access to contraceptives and other necessary materials.

The J8 participants are also supplementing their recommendations with an action plan and steps for follow–up.

Full copies of the Chitose Declaration are available from the Junior 8 web site.

J8 logo

J8 2008 Background

Junior 8 (J8) is the young people’s event linked to the G8 Summit and organised by UNICEF. J8 aims to advance young people’s understanding of global issues and to provide a platform for them to discuss and advocate on these issues with some of the most powerful leaders in the world.

Teams of four young people from each G8 country, as well as one young person from each world region make up the participants of this year’s summit. This year’s developing country delegates hail from Barbados, Cote D’Ivoire, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, and South Africa. This year’s J8 Summit is being held in Chitose City, Hokkaido, Japan from 1-10 July.

The young participants have been working in teams for the past few months, and now together in Chitose, to statements and recommendations to take to the G8 leaders today.

Attention Broadcasters

The footage from the meeting with G8 leaders will be transmitted live and pooled by the broadcaster NHK.

Several video news packages will be produced on site and will be available from UNICEF’s Newsmarket service.

For more information, arrange interviews with the participants and full copies of the Chitose Declaration, please contact:

Japan: Erica Kochi, + 81 80-2051-3064
Japan: Michiko Nagashima–Hayashi, +81 080 13776743
New York: Kate Donovan, +1 917 378 2128
Geneva: Miranda Eeles, +41 22 909 5716

 ◀ Previous page  |   ▶ Next page