As Day 2 of the Youth G8&G20 Summit came to a close, one Team USA member summed up the day with the word passion. The zeal, enthusiasm, and attention to detail shown by each and every delegate at the Summit made negotiations highly interesting, yet convoluted. Team USA felt that great success was achieved across the board in every committee where consensus was achieved on a number of highly controversial issues.
Nida Nizam, President of the US Delegation, described negotiations in the Heads of State committee as convoluted given the fact that every single delegate in the room are so invested in the topics being discussed, and each have very specific opinions on them. Naturally, this prompted the committee to move at a slower pace and difficult for some delegates to follow on occasion. The most heavily debated issue was the overall future of the G20 Summit, with differing opinions on whether expansion of membership was needed. Nida defended the G20 as it currently is with tenacity, managing to win over her committee by explaining that expanding the G20 into something similar to the UN will only amount to more bureaucracy, and less concrete action. Thanks to this, the committee was able to begin writing the contents of their portion of the Final Communique.
Alex Bronzo, US Secretary of State, achieved even greater amounts of success in his committee in the discussion of Minority Rights. Discussion in his G8 committee was naturally much more relaxed than others, so the style of debate was more of a conversation as opposed to an intense, formal debate. The committee moved efficiently and swiftly through the sub-topic of Women, agreeing that the obstacles women often face in politics and civil service must be removed by all countries to allow for greater participation by women in developing future national and international policy. Perhaps the most groundbreaking thing about the Foreign Affairs committee was their discussion of the LGBT community and same sex partnerships. Although certain delegates were hesitant to agree to certain terms and use of specific language, there was an overwhelming consensus that discrimination of these people must end immediately around the world. Although this committee only represent 8 of the world’s nations, Alex and the committee were very cognoscente of the perspectives of the rest of the world when drafting the portion of the communique focused on this issue.
Hayes Brown, US Attorney General in the G8 Justice Committee, also achieved similar success to Alex in his discussion of Cybersecurity. On an issue that is often contentious, Hayes was able to ensure that debate remained smooth and efficient, allowing for all US interests to remain well represented in the portion of the Communique devoted to this.
Jon Askonas, US Secretary of Defense in the G8 Defense committee, engaged in high levels of debate on the issues of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and Nuclear Norms. Naturally, each of the countries have their own specific opinions which resulted in a very interesting debate amongst the delegates. Jon remained skillful in ensuring the committee was well apprised of the US position, which allowed for all US interests to remain in the written Communique on these specific issues.
Jasdeep Singh, US Finance Secretary of the G20 Finance Committee, skillfully lead debate amongst very passionate and excited delegates based around the Tobin Tax. This tax, which is intended to put a penalty on short-term financial round-trip excursions into another currency, is one of the financial top stories since the beginning of the economic and financial crisis of 2008. Although controversial, Jas remained successful in ensuring US opinions were heeded by all delegates and will be greatly considered in the Communique.
Abhi Goyal, USAID Administrator in the G20 Development Committee, partook in intriguing debate on the issues of Food and Human Security. After strenuously outlining the definitions for these two topics for the purpose of debate, the committee was incredibly detailed oriented on the specific language to be used in the Communique. Despite the fact that debate became quite slow as delegates focused on such details, Abhi forced the committee to keep moving forward with substantive discussion which proved very successful by the end of the day.
Laura Bernstein, US Economics Secretary of the G20 Economics committee, discussed Youth Unemployment amongst her committee with specific focus on Education. Agreement was reached by all on establishing internship programs for unemployed youth around the world with larger corporations. Additionally, the committee wishes to move forward with establishing exchange programs to allow for youth to gain understandings of cultures and economies around the world. Thanks to Laura, these specific US interests were well represented and will remain integral to the final written Communique.
Jeremy Iloulian, US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator of the G20 Environmental Committee, discussed with his committee Water Security. Great success was achieved for US interests when Jeremy attained consensus declaring water to be a universal human right, a very specific US objective. Surprisingly, Jeremy did not have to contend with too much objections from other delegates, a testament to his ability to diplomatically phrase portions of the Communique that allow for every country with differing opinions to be able to adopt the solutions put forth.
Naturally, Bo Gilliam, the US Sherpa, kept the team going with his constant assistance on all policy questions, as well as assuaging all concerns between opposing delegates on behalf of the US. Without his tenacity, energy, and good humor, Team USA would not be as successful as they were!
Photos coming soon!