Student G8 Mirrors Upcoming July Summit
By Evgenia Ivanova
The creation of a multinational monitoring body for energy transportation, a global network of research and development centers and increased international collaboration to prevent money laundering are just a few of the proposals put forward by a group of international students in a report released in the city on Thursday.
The document was the result of a project modeled on the Group of Eight international body which took place in St. Petersburg on April 3–9, mirroring the real G8 conference that will take place in the city in July.
The youth forum was organized by the St. Petersburg-based International Youth Diplomacy League, or IYDL, with the support of City Hall and the Council of Rectors of St. Petersburg’s Institutions of Higher Education.
The project brought together students and graduates from Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Canada, France, Japan, Russia and the U.S.
In an attempt to find solutions to major issues for international development, the students formed delegations consisting of heads of state (or the heads of government), six ministers and a sherpa – a person responsible for the technical and analytical support of the project.
According to Sergei Andreyev, chairman of the committee on science, culture and education of the city’s Legislative Assembly, another organization supporting the event, it had taken the students a year to prepare a coherent concept for the discussions.
“The aim of the event is to brainstorm and try to shift the development of our civilization in a positive direction,” Andreyev said, speaking at the IYDL’s press conference on April 4.
It’s planned that a document summarizing the Model G8’s findings will be distributed among the members of the Group of Eight before their St. Petersburg conference.
Stephen Kinnock, director of the British Council in St. Petersburg and North West Russia, and Helena Perroud, head of the French Institute in St. Petersburg, welcomed the IYDL’s initiative.
Kinnock said: “I hope that the result of these meetings will be very interesting, not only to the Council, as a body dealing with education and politics among many things, but to the Group of Eight leaders too.”