G8 and G20 Youth Summits Shed Light on Millennials Take on Terrorism and Migration

The justice committee at the Youth G8 and G20 Summits finalized it's communiqué which will be presented to global leaders to express a youth position on sensitive and pressing matters in the modern world. After finishing a heated discussion on migrant rights, the committee moved on to the topics of arms, drugs, and terrorism. There was a consensus that states bordering areas of armed conflict should increase protection for victims and offer them temporary legal protection within their borders. They added their support for G8 plans for refugee resettlement. 

Discussion then moved on to the responsibilities of both national navies and private merchants to provide assistance to ships in distress in order to protect human life. This was raised by the French delegate in light of the recent tragedy where a boat of refugees from Libya sank and those on board drowned due partially to the inaction of several nations. 

The committee decided that better legal guidance had to be implemented in order to avoid disasters. The committee also agreed that rescuing people in distress at sea did not give a nation a responsibility to allow those people to live in the rescuers country. There was a lot of disagreement about what exactly the responsibilities of the state should be in these circumstances. There was real contention between Japan and France on this issue, with Japan rejecting even a legal obligation to rescue. But, there was an agreement to increase communication between states in situations where the lives of migrants are at risk in transit. 

A lot of time was spent arguing over the wording of certain causes including whether to draw a distinction between terrorism and all other crime. Germany was strongly opposed to the distinction but Japan and France were both in favor. After the topics were discussed the committee finished with a statement of intent. The final communique touches on a range of topics that are highly relevant in the modern world. It outlines principles and offers suggestions, rather than highly-specific recommendations. It shows there is multilateral support for the protection of rights, and the protection of victims.

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Bethany English

I'm a journalist in the UK working for a large regional newspaper called the Manchester Evening News. I'm also press secretary to the UK youth G8 and G20 summits in Washington. I have a background in politics and am passionate about international justice.

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