War With Iran in Focus at the G8 and G20 Youth Summits

The G8 and G20 Youth Summit has started as more than 200 young students and professionals have decended on Washington. There is enthusiasm and the delegates firmly believe they can achieve something tangible at this summit.

The Defense Committee at this summit has focused on the global non-proliferation treaty. Delegates have particularly focused on the situation in Iran: In order to reduce the nuclear threat that this nation poses, the European bloc, NATO and the United States have approved a more effective set of sanctions. Russia, however, doesn't agree on this point, especially as it is perceived as a too strict and rigid policy. Their representative encapsulated the Russian stance: “If we want non-proliferation, we have to make it equal for all others too. Sanctions hurt Iranian population.”

For the sake of agreement, a framework of best practices was proposed instead of the severe sanctions scheme previously envisioned.

In the same context, delegates have discussed the scope of action which should be used by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The second topic at hand was the European missile defense shield. This topic is of fundamental importance and requires the maximum attention for national governments and also for youth.

Everybody has recognized the importance and need of a European military defense system. NATO affirmed that “Ballistic missile defense is pivotal to international security; NATO will work to develop an European shield; we want to take steps to restore and redefine the relationship with Russia with a more integrated approach, moving away from Cold War rhetoric through practice, not just verbal agreements, and assuring Russia that missiles are not directed
towards it, but towards a more global threat.” Canada, the U.S. and Europe of course, agreed with this position.

Russia replied that they, “Support all that was said,” continuing, “First we should drop Cold War thinking (that is why we are youth); but we also need trusted guarantees that this shield will not affect Russian potential.“If we want to fight the threat of the south, we must do it together.”