Team USA 2014

team usa 2014

The Y20 is the official G20 youth event held under the Australian G20 presidency. This year, young professionals from the G20 member countries and invited outreach countries will convene at the Y20. The delegates are expected to negotiate a joint position on growth and job creation, global citizenship and mobility, and sustainable development and express it in a communiqué which will be presented to the G20 leaders.

The Y20 will be held in July 12-15, 2014 in Sydney, Australia.

Learn about the delegation here.

 

 

Y20 Australia Recruitment Process

WHAT IS THE Y20?
The Y20 is a leadership summit that convenes young professionals from G20 countries for one week each year to develop policy solutions to current global challenges. Learn more here.

WHEN AND WHERE IS THE Y20?
The Y20 will be taking place 12-15 July 2014 in Sydney, Australia.

WHAT HAPPENS AT THE Y20?
Delegates will participate in online discussion groups (pre-Y20) and negotiating working groups (at the Y20) focused on three main issues:

  1. Growth and jobs creation
  2. Global citizenship
  3. Sustainable development

At the end of the process, a communiqué outlining specific policy proposals is drafted and approved. These recommendations are then circulated to public and private sector leaders.

The Y20 will also consist of workshops with high profile government, business, and civil society speakers; sightseeing and cultural immersion; and networking opportunities with young professionals from around the world.

WHO CAN PARTICIPATE IN THE YADL DELEGATION TO THE Y20?
YADL seeks 5 young professionals (US citizens under 35 years of age) with demonstrated leadership experience, intellectual curiosity, international policy capacity, proven communication skills, and multicultural competence. YADL aspires to assemble a team that is creative, diverse, and innovative.

HOW TO APPLY
Submit a single PDF document containing a cover letter and resume to carlos.reyes@yadlusa.org by 11:59PM EST on Friday, January 31, 2014. The cover letter should address the following questions:

  • Why are you applying for the delegation? What skills or expertise do you bring as a delegate?
  • What international issues interest you? How will you represent the United States?
  • What do you hope to gain from the experience? How will this experience advance your career?

OTHER DETAILS
Interviews will be granted to successful candidates after the selection committee reviews applications. YADL will arrange a delegation training weekend in late March/early April 2014. Delegates are responsible for transportation to/from Sydney.

Y8 Russia 2014 Recruitment Process

WHAT IS THE Y8?
The Y8 is a leadership summit that convenes young professionals from G8 countries for one week each year to develop policy solutions to current global challenges. Learn more here.

WHEN AND WHERE IS THE Y8?
The Y8 will be taking place from May 14 to 17, 2014 in Moscow, Russia.

WHAT HAPPENS AT THE Y8?
Delegates will participate in online discussion groups (pre-Y8) and negotiating working groups (at the Y8) focused on four main issues:

  1. International security
  2. International development cooperation
  3. Energy security and climate change
  4. Information security and availability

At the end of the process, a communiqué outlining specific policy proposals is drafted and approved. These recommendations are then circulated to public and private sector leaders.

The Y8 will also consist of workshops with high profile government, business, and civil society speakers; sightseeing and cultural immersion; and networking opportunities with young professionals from around the world.

WHO CAN PARTICIPATE IN THE YADL DELEGATION TO THE Y8?
YADL seeks 5 young professionals (US citizens under 35 years of age) with demonstrated leadership experience, intellectual curiosity, international policy capacity, proven communication skills, and multicultural competence. YADL aspires to assemble a team that is creative, diverse, and innovative.

HOW TO APPLY
Submit a single PDF document containing a cover letter and resume to carlos.reyes@yadlusa.org by 11:59PM EST on Friday, January 3, 2014. The cover letter should address the following questions:

  • Why are you applying for the delegation? What skills or expertise do you bring as a delegate?
  • What international issues interest you? How will you represent the United States?
  • What do you hope to gain from the experience? How will this experience advance your career?

OTHER DETAILS
Interviews will be granted to successful candidates after the selection committee reviews applications. YADL will arrange a delegation training weekend in late March 2014. Delegates are responsible for transportation to/from Moscow.

Y8 Dispatches: Finalizing the Communique

Dispatch from London and Team USA 2013

 

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Afternoon deliberations at the Y8 Summit began with committees working against a 6 p.m. final deadline, after which the Heads of State and Government committee would revise and ratify a final communiqué for the summit.

Early in the afternoon, talks in the Foreign Affairs committee took on the wide-ranging topic of the conflict in Syria, with the U.S. and Russian delegates clashing over key issues and phrasing. American Secretary of State Alex Haber opposed once again putting the need for a “neutral, impartial, international observer team assembled by the UN” before the UN Security Council, and dismissed the possibility that chemical weapons had not been used by either the Syrian government or rebels.

However, by 3 p.m., the committee was able to reach a consensus on wording, strongly condemning the human rights abuses, use of chemical and lethal weapons, and endemic conflict in Syria.

“This is the biggest thing we could have hoped for in this conference – to get Russia to agree to investigating the use of chemical weapons and finding a way to bring that before an international body,” Haber said following the unanimous vote of approval.

Shortly after, the Heads of State and Government committee took on the issue of the conflict in Syria as well.

Both Russia and the U.S. agreed on the need to open a dialogue between the two countries regarding “principles behind military contracts connected with both parties of the conflict.” Delegates also concurred that a cooperative network should be created to assist non-government organizations in determining the amount of and delivering necessary aid to the Syrian people.

“The best part is that we agreed to the creation of a ‘refugee corridor’ with international peacekeepers and a no-fly zone,” said U.S. President Jeremy Iloulian following an initial round of compromises in the committee. He noted that the most difficult U.S. position for which to garner acceptance was the acknowledgment that the use of chemical weapons constituted an egregious human rights abuse.

Closing in on the 6 p.m. deadline, the Defense committee finalized wording outlining the current uses of and reporting on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The group was able to come to an agreement – with respect to the high potential for civilian casualties and the frequent need for military confidentiality – to encourage transparency in national UAV programs and increased security mechanisms.

After much compromise and changes in phrasing, the policy recommendation on UAVs was passed unanimously.

The final issue of the evening touched on by the Defense committee, how best to address and combat piracy, received general agreement amongst all delegates. The U.S. Secretary of Defense, Yevgen Sautin, recommended continued coordination in combating piracy and its root causes in the Horn of Africa and around the world. He suggested ramping up the G20-wide rotation of open water monitoring in the most affected regions.

“I would echo my Indonesian colleague in saying it’s worth studying why the scourge of piracy reemerged a few years ago,” said Sautin. “What socioeconomic causes have prompted this… How can we combat this from all sides?” He supported providing economic assistance to governments in areas experiencing endemic piracy, noting that additional resources could both deter would-be pirates and provide alternatives for income.

The institutionalization of an international anti-piracy monitoring body governed by the UN received committee-wide approval, on the suggestion of the Indonesian delegate.

When the 6 p.m. deadline for all five committees passed, a few groups were still working to revise and format language before submitting their policy initiatives. The Heads of State and Government reconvened at 7:30 p.m. to review and ultimately ratify all proposals. Thursday, the third and final day of negotiations, saw delegates finish up just before 10 p.m.

Y8 Dispatches: Thursday Morning

Dispatch from London and Team USA 2013

Committees began to finalize their written communiqués Thursday morning, the final day of negotiations, following a day of informal deliberations and sightseeing across London.

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In the International Development committee, USAID Administrator Jordan Sanderson promoted the use of mobile apps to supply and track monetary and material aid and aid delivery in using technology to encourage participatory governance and open data flow. This could be accomplished, he said, through disbursements directly to mobile bank accounts and accompany surveys to improve transactions and user experience.

“As a broad term, this strategy needs to be open-sourced; it can’t just be governments sharing this information. It needs to come from the ground up,” Sanderson said of the information-sharing capabilities of the applications.

The development committee as a whole had little disagreement over the recommendations, with the European Union and Mexico especially promoting the increased use of technology to assess aid effectiveness.

“We should take a multinational approach to alleviating poverty with specific solutions,” said the Mexican delegate, Carlos Molina, referring to the use of mobile apps and cross-country microfinancing to support initiatives like increased access to education and eradicating famine.

Discussing carbon dioxide emission reduction, the Energy & Climate Change committee dealt with current carbon dioxide reduction regulations, the possibility of a regional cap-and-trade system, and increased transparency in national emission reporting. There was also broad support to limit global temperature increases to two degrees Celsius.

Drew Holden, the U.S. EPA Administrator, agreed with the Europen Union and Indonesia in regards to revising the UN-backed Kyoto Protocol of 1997.

“In addition to updating the Kyoto Protocol, we need to make other substantive changes. We cannot wait until 2020 to put new groundwork in place,” said Holden. He supported setting universal carbon emission standards across the board, ensuring that each state’s individual regulations “have scientific support, international support.”

The matter of prisoner’s rights became a very contentious issue in the Justice committee, with the United States, Germany, South Africa, Canada, Russia and France differing greatly on the prospect of prisoner voting rights, among other things.

“Most people are not in prison for political beliefs, they’re in prison for committing violent, heinous crimes,” said U.S. Attorney General Dane Shikman, in regard to South Africa’s contention that political freedoms ought to be exercised even in prison. “They’ve given up the right to be a free, autonomous person in society. You sacrifice far bigger things than the right to vote.”

The delegate from Canada, Matthew M. Grubisic, dissented.

“A prisoner’s rights are given to him by the government. If he cannot affect his government, then he loses a fundamental right to change the system,” Grubisic said. Many delegates argued that voting is a privilege, not a right, and consensus on the issue could not be reached. 

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Committees broke for lunch at 1 p.m., with five hours left to finalize the communiqués to be sent to the heads of state and government this evening.

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Y8 London Day One!

Dispatch from London and Team USA 2013

Tuesday’s opening negotiations saw a number of imperative international issues discussed amongst the working groups, with the defense committee beginning to deliberate nuclear non-proliferation, disarmament and national sanctions. Language describing a need for bilateral and multilateral agreements for progressive and collective nuclear disarmament was agreed upon early on in discussions, with the U.S. refining the wording to extend to only established and sovereign nation-states, excluding rogue actors or national groups.

All present in the defense committee agreed also upon the long-term monitoring power and oversight of the International Atomic Energy Agency of the Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1970.

In the foreign affairs committee, delegates discussed political stabilization in Mali and options for arming or engaging the Tuareg rebels. The U.S. touched on the need for long-term stability and security along with independent monitoring of the July 28 presidential election.

“Whether we’re specifying PR campaigns or journalism, we don’t have an understanding as to what the new Malian government will need until after the election,” said Alex Haber, the U.S. foreign affairs delegate, in committee. “It can be anything ranging from grass-roots organizing to publicly disseminated information campaigns, we can’t know exactly… We need to focus on the actual election process.” Image

Others, like Germany and Argentina, were concerned with the need for the rebels and the Malian government in Bamako to engage in talks aimed at political reconciliation.

“The process of democracy is so important in Mali. Argentina celebrates this process, because it’s the basis of other states and our own. Elections are essential,” said Sofia Archaval Lastra, the Argentinian foreign affairs delegate. She indicated that Argentina had no intention of arming the government or allowing a dictatorship to form in absence of a stable government.

Forestry and agricultural exports were discussed in the energy and climate change committee during opening negotiations, but in the afternoon talk turned to worldwide water shortages and sanitation issues. The delegates unanimously agreed that standards should be set regarding the management and treatment of waste water, regulations put in place to protect natural water resources, research initiatives fostering technological developments to combat water scarcity should be supported, and water for agricultural and industrial use ought to be appropriately priced.

During the final topic of the day in the justice committee, the wide-ranging issue of corruption took center stage. The European Union favored providing amnesty and protection to whistle-blowers, creating a legally binding apparatus to protect them from charges of breach of contract or high treason.

The U.S. did not agree with this proposition, and Canada expressed dissent.

“There’s a difference between a whistle-blower revealing something to the media, which could have national security repercussions, and revealing something to a judicial body that can make a critical assessment about the threat level,” said U.S. Attorney General Dane Shikman, delegate to the defense committee. “On one hand, to hold governments accountable, if you don’t say anything, they won’t hear anything.”

However, he added, the recent information leak in the U.S. exemplifies the problems raised nationally and diplomatically when whistle-blowers ignore national security interests. If nations had “a system where a court could issue an injunction against a government,” which many of the countries present in the committee currently use, it “could potentially mitigate national security risks and give whistle-blowers another option besides going to the media,” said Shikman.

For their final issue of discussion on the first day, the defense committee discussed the security issues and disarmament issues involved with the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea, or North Korea.

“North Korea has engaged in similar tactics for much of the last decade. They’ve attempted to divide the other five countries in the six-party talks, and they alternate between provocations and calls for renewed negotiations,” said the U.S. Secretary of State Yevgen Sautin, the delegate to the defense committee. “The international community must be firm in demanding North Korea give up its nuclear weapons before any kind of lasting agreement on the security of the Korean peninsula can be achieved.”

Deliberations came to a close for the day at 5 p.m., with delegates from each nation meeting to review the day’s discussions and prepare notes for the second day of the summit. Each committee is hoped to have completed a written policy prescription for the first major issue discussed this morning and afternoon, with the second major issue on the committee agenda up for deliberation tomorrow.

Team USA Positions: Attorney General

In this series, we will post excerpts from position papers prepared by TeamUSA for the Y8 Summit in London. Enjoy this window into the negotiations!

 

LEGAL PROTECTION OF NATIONAL SECURITY INTERESTS 

The committee will address cyber-security, cross border crimes (including trafficking, unauthorized migration, etc.) and corruption. Cyber-security is an area where collaborative measures and shared understandings can improve national defenses and mitigate threats. The United States views the cyber domain as a critical arena for growth. As the connective cyber tissue expands among and within nations, the world becomes more vulnerable to cyber-crime and digital aggression. Therefore, the United States seeks international solutions to the challenges of cyber crime and aggression.

In confronting the issues in cyberspace, the United States remains committed to several principles. First, nations should prioritize fundamental freedoms when acting to secure their networks. Second, nations should balance cyber policies to protect the privacy interests of users. Third, nations should preserve the free flow of information. The United States will urge for innovative technological solutions to enhance cyber security measures while maintaining an open, level field over which information and data can be exchanged.

Cross-border crimes will serve as an important focus for the G8 Justice Committee. In particular, the committee will seek to articulate guidelines that curb trafficking of illicit materials and persons. Finally, the Justice Committee will address migrant rights and illegal immigration. In resolving issues related to undocumented or unauthorized migrants, the United States asserts the need to protect these persons’ fundamental human rights before and during deportation procedures. Furthermore, the United States will support a collective effort to protect authorized foreign nationals from oppressive or discriminatory state actions.

The G8 Justice Committee will also seek to resolve the legal questions impacted by international political corruption. The United States seeks to revitalize a dialogue with the G8 on controlling corrupt practices in nations around the world.

 

GLOBAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

Within this theme, the committee will address the fundamental freedoms and rights of marginalized populations, methods for protecting these persons, and the international community’s “Responsibility to Protect” the same. The most efficient use of the committee’s time will be a clarification of the R2P doctrine so foreign nations can delineate acceptable conditions for intervening on behalf of affected populations. Three core principles together embody the thrust of “R2P.” First, states are responsible for their people’s welfare. Second, the international community is responsible for helping states protect their people. Third, when a state fails to protect its people, the international community must intervene in order to protect the neglected or abused population. The statement also enumerated six criteria that must be fulfilled to justify a military intervention.

There are several questions that remain unresolved and their clarification may prove beneficial for the defenders of freedom and peace around the world. For instance, currently the scope of R2P involves only the commission of crimes within the Rome Statute’s jurisdiction; expansion of R2P’s scope (applying it in the case of natural disasters or cases of violent oppression that do not amount to ethnic cleansing) may help the G8 countries build international consensus for multilateral intervention efforts. Furthermore, the current doctrine’s scope of purpose involves only the protection of abused people; such a narrowly defined purpose excludes other interventions with equally legitimate purposes. The G8 should affirm the expansion of the scope of R2P so it can apply the doctrine to cases in which intervention is deemed prudent.

Team USA Positions: USAID

In this series, we will post excerpts from position papers prepared by TeamUSA for the Y8 Summit in London. Enjoy this window into the negotiations!

 

EDUCATION

Initiatives specifically focused on enrolling children and keeping them in school has helped to decrease the share of out-of-school children from 16% to 10% between 2000 and 2009[1].  It is the responsibility of all to ensure that all assistance is used most effectively to meet changing dynamics.

Current Government Position

The United States has identified investments in education as a key priority to achieving foreign policy goals.  We are currently working towards achieving the following in education:

  • Eradicating illiteracy in primary grades.
  • Developing more non-formal learning and workforce development opportunities.
  • Ensuring sufficient ROI through establishment of KPIs that includes data on learning outcomes in both literacy and numeracy.
  • Becoming more selective in investment projects.

Recommended Position

We need to utilize frameworks already in place and build upon the natural curiosity of young people and new technologies. We propose evaluating the following levers to guide the implementation of an all-encompassing education strategy:

  • Increase investments in impact evaluations, assessments and benchmarking tools.
  • Use data gathered to continue to develop country-specific education strategies.
  • Evaluate publicly funded but privately operated education models.
  • Encourage self-organized learning environments with technology serving as a facilitator of learning and self-efficacy.
  • Create a network of accountability within the system, utilizing key performance indicators to measure the countries’ strategy implementation.

The United States will push to have all G20 countries reaffirm commitments to education and achieving / redefining UN MDGs. Education is the engine of development and the system, including governments, organizations and the public / private sectors, needs to create community-specific action plans that are both transparent and measurable.

 

 

TECHNOLOGY

Governments and development organizations have not kept up with the speed of technology. Now with increased technology penetration in developing regions (e.g., 6 of the 7 billion people in the world have access to a mobile phone), governments, organizations and communities have tools that can improve both coordination and management of development initiatives.

Current Government Position

The United States is committed to a collaborative, multi-sector approach to ensure the advancement of knowledge sharing and sustainable development goals. To achieve our overall agenda, we are currently leveraging the following to make key breakthroughs:

  • Investments in data infrastructure and analytical capacity to better tackle the challenges in international development.
  • Development through advanced mobile solutions.

Recommended Position

To keep pace with advancement, the US and G8 countries need to continue to put technology on the forefront when developing strategies to reach development goals. We support collaborative approaches to solutions and recommend furthering current strategies to advance the overall G8 development agenda through:

  • Continuing investment in open data infrastructure, as it has the potential to not only improve transparency and coordination, but also dramatically accelerate progress in development.
  • Supporting students, volunteers and organizations to validate, clean up and map published government or crowd-sourced data in a practical and actionable way.
  • Building upon existing platforms to increase accountability and tracking of aid, collecting dynamic quantitative and qualitative data on effectiveness and later applying best practices.
  • Promoting a multi-sector approach to investments in technology to improve global health, leveraging best practices and information sharing to serve those at the bottom of the pyramid.

The United States strongly believes that through the fostering of partnerships among G8 countries and assistance organizations, technology can accelerate growth and help to decrease the gap with the UN MDGs by 2015.

 

Team USA Positions: EPA

In this series, we will post excerpts from position papers prepared by TeamUSA for the Y8 Summit in London. Enjoy this window into the negotiations!

CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION

The science behind the existence of climate change is settled; the planet is changing and man-made alterations are the cause. While it is important to attempt to reduce our current eco-footprint and change our habits to attempt to mitigate as much of climate change as possible, our main focus must be on adapting to climate change both in the developed and the developing world. We cannot avoid the reality of potentially catastrophic changes around the globe.

Given the realities of climate change, renewable fuel use has been accelerating as countries move to include more hydroelectric, solar, wind, geothermal and biomass energy in their energy portfolios and increase usage of nuclear power and cleaner-burning natural gas. The United States has been among world leaders in this change. As a body we must facilitate this changeover in the developed world and assist the developing world in converting old, dirty energy to new clean energy.

But merely shifting to cleaner energy is only one component in our battle against climate change. Science has given us various methods of living on our new planet. It is of paramount importance that this technology trickles down to developing nations. There are new technologies that we must keep on the table, such as carbon sequestration and geoengineering.  Both technologies require the attention and support of the global community. The United States believes that it is important to contribute funds and academic attention to both of these technologies across the world.

Further, it is incredibly important that development goes hand-in-hand with green growth. As a global community we must make sure that economic development is matched with environmental protection in the long- and short-term.

 

RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

In a world that is quickly approaching its carrying capacity, it is incredibly important that economic and social development are done in a way that is sustainable for the environment and future generations.

This is of particular importance for the developing world. The World Bank believes that by 2050 the world’s population will near 8 billion people; feeding this many people will put tremendous strain on current agriculture.  Agricultural practices must be as sustainable as possible, while still sustaining the needs of the present. It is important that farmers and policy makers are educated about the damaging long-term effects of cutting and farming practices and that these individuals are empowered to make changes and enforceable policies through the use of grants and aid from the international community.

There is also the issue of pollution – on land, in the air and at sea.  It is important that this body looks to address current emissions rates and goals both in the developed and developing world so that these emissions do not become harmful to the individuals who have no choice but to breathe the air. There should be some emissions requirement put forth to limit what individual polluters can put as well as an oversight organization to track the immediate and potential health impacts that pollution has on the population.

It is important to protect the biodiversity of our world. Thousands of species are currently going extinct every year and experts believe that the rate at which species are becoming extinct is between 1,000 and 10,000 times higher than has ever existed naturally (World Wildlife Fund). A similar program of education and support would benefit both the individuals forced to make the choice between environmental degradation and personal sustenance as well as the international community and the planet as a whole.

2.4 billion people live on less than $2 US a day and it is impossible to divorce the interrelated issues of poverty and starvation from issues of environmental preservation (World Bank). The world must avoid pitting global antipoverty efforts against environmental protection and restoration.

The United States seeks to foster broad consensus among both developed and developing countries for how to implement these policy solutions on both the national and the international level.

Y20 Kicks Off in St. Petersburg, Russia

The American delegation to the Y20 has arrived in St. Petersburg!

The five young professionals have been meeting their fellow international counterparts and taking in the beautiful host city (including a cruise on the Neva River). To watch the opening session please visit the official Y20 site.

More updates to come, especially as negotiations take place.

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