Koné Tilomian Danoubié, 17, who is a member of Catholic Scouts of Côte d’Ivoire took part in the Junior G8 summit (J8), which was held in Japan from 1-10 July. He was able to participate thanks to the support of the UNICEF Côte d’Ivoire.
The summit brought together 274 young people between the ages of 14-17 from developing countries, to exchange ideas and share knowledge on issues relating to climate change, poverty, and global health.
Danoubié himself gave a special input on the contribution of young people in research on HIV/AIDS, accompanied by Dr Toure Fatoumata from UNICEF.
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.
Key recommendations from the declaration include:
The establishment of an international organization 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.