By Murat Duru
There have been many world leaders emphasizing the importance of the youth, of us. However there is one particular quote which is most relevant to this article, one from the President of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan: “Our future is at the hands of our youth.” Though the meaning may appear to be obvious at first, it really is not. Most college students realize that their peers will be the inventors of tomorrow’s technology; writers of tomorrow’s literature; artists of tomorrow’s music and art; and so on. So our technology, literature, music, art and so on is at the hands of the youth. Very few people consider leadership, even though it may just as well be the foundation of all. Moreover, one of the last things that come to mind is leadership. The leaders of tomorrow are the youth of today – our peers, us.
So what are the leaders of today doing to nourish, nurture, and culture the leaders of tomorrow to ensure that the future is at the hands of competent leaders? There are many global institutions engaging the youth. In fact, there are even national and local organizations at various levels attempting to engage youth. In an endeavor to improve the awareness of the youth, particularly at NJIT, a good portion of these institutions and their engagement tools will be published in a series of articles.
A very brief background may be required in order to properly explain what Y20 is and why it is so important. Y20 is the official youth engagement group of the G20 (Group of Twenty). G20 is comprised of the twenty biggest economies in the world (nineteen countries plus the European Union) and several guest countries invited by the G20 president and “is the premier forum for its members’ international economic cooperation and decision-making” as stated on their website at g20.org. Each year in November, the G20’s president hosts a Summit where financial, economic, and political leaders of the globe sit together to discuss global issues encompassing economics and finance then take collective decisions to resolve global issues.
Considering that the decisions made by the G20 leaders have far reaching effects across society, which is why citizens’ insight on what those decisions should be is of vital importance. After all, in order to implement policies, governments need the support of their people. Because community consultation is crucial for the G20’s work, ‘engagement groups’ have been created to ensure a wide array of insight from society – one of these groups is the Y20. For more information visit g20.org.
Under the G20 Presidency, Y20 also holds a Summit during which delegates from over 20 countries take several topics related to the youth and their future, discuss it amongst themselves, and agree on a final document called the Communiqué, which is presented to the G20 leaders during various meetings and the G20 Summit. The Communiqué, is a document that has recommendations and suggestions by the group authoring it, in this case, the Y20. There is considerable emphasis on the Y20 Communique during the G20 Summit for many reasons but perhaps most notably the fact that Y20 represents youth which accounts of for fifty percent of the world’s population and countries that cover over sixty percent of the world’s population. Due to these figures and the leaders involved, this is the most prestigious and productive youth summit in the world. For more information on the Y20 you may visit Y20Turkey.org.
For information on how to apply to become a delegate to such summits please email Youth@Y20Turkey.org.