Y20 Indonesia: Promoting the Youth Agenda at the G20

Photo: thejakartapost

On July 17 to 24, about 100 youth, comprising 80 delegates representing all 20 Group of 20 members as well as 20 observers from international and regional organizations such as the World Bank, WTO, ADB, IsDB and ASEAN, will gather in Jakarta and Bandung to attend the Youth 20 Summit 2022 Indonesia. They will finalize their policy recommendations to G20 leaders in the Y20 Communique.

For the first time in Y20 history, historically underrepresented communities like People with Disabilities (PwD), Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLC) and refugees will be invited as official observers and will have a seat at the table too.

For the past few months, the delegates of Y20 Indonesia have discussed and negotiated the policy recommendations for G20 leaders through a months-long process, which was started in February 2022 with the official kick-off meeting of Y20 Indonesia 2022.

Prior to the kick-off, Indonesian Youth Diplomacy (IYD), the official host of Y20 Indonesia this year, conducted a study, along with Cint, in which 5,700 young people across the G20 were surveyed on the four priority issues of Y20 Indonesia 2022: youth employment, digital transformation, sustainable and livable planet and diversity and inclusion.

Here are some of our findings.

Youth Employment

The growth of the digital economy creates increasingly precarious forms of non-standard work — putting young people increasingly at risk. Our survey finds that almost half (47 percent) of young people across the G20 are worried about working in an unstable job. Additionally, most young people across the G20 still have limited key competencies and qualifications, and rarely have the financial resources and the human and business networks that can provide them leverage.

Digital Transformation

Our study reveals that 61 percent of young people across the G20 have issues with internet connectivity, including slow and unstable internet connection and expensive access to the internet. To fully unleash the potential of digital transformation, a stable and affordable internet connection is key.

Sustainable and Livable Planet

Our survey shows that 45 percent of youth across the G20 think about our planet very often, nearly every week. Our survey also reveals that 31 percent said the thinking was initiated by environmental issues happening in their country and affecting them personally.

Diversity and Inclusion

It is encouraging that our survey demonstrates that 75 percent of young people across the G20 believe that a diverse and inclusive society is important. The diversity and inclusion agenda at Y20 this year prioritizes two subtopics, inclusive education and creative economy. As regards inclusive education, 33 percent of young people across the G20 believe that the provision of universal access to quality education is their number-one priority.

These findings serve as the foundation of the discussion and negotiations at the Y20 Indonesia in the following months.

Following the kick-off, the delegates participated in a series of pre-summit events, which were held monthly in four different Indonesian cities: Palembang, South Sumatera; Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara; Balikpapan, East Kalimantan; and Manokwari, West Papua from March through June, with each pre-summit focusing on each of the Y20 Indonesia’s four priority areas.

The pre-summits were conducted in different cities in different regions of Indonesia to encourage the participation of Indonesian youths at the local level by giving them exposure to the Y20 and G20 processes, as well as to showcase the richness and diversity of Indonesian cities to the international Y20 delegates.

In each of the cities, about 100 local young people were given the chance to have a direct dialogue with the Y20 delegates, through an exercise that we call the “town hall meeting”, to brainstorm and propose policy recommendations on Y20 priority agendas.

From these experiences, here is what we have learned.

First, young people are enthusiastic about the G20 and Y20, but they did not have the platform to directly connect them to decision makers.

Second, our interactions with hundreds of young people coming from different cities in Indonesia through the town hall meetings demonstrate that they are able to come up with well-crafted-policy recommendations for relevant G20 and Y20 priority agendas.

Third, Indonesia’s presidency at the G20 this year provides a great starting point for including more young people who had previously been disconnected from the decision-making table. Y20 Indonesia has demonstrated the ways in which to facilitate these dialogues, including through the town hall meetings, among others.

Even beyond the town hall meetings, the enthusiasm of young people at the national level about the G20 can also be seen from the number of young people applying to be the Indonesian delegates to the Y20 this year. About 500 young people competed for four seats representing Indonesia at the most consequential youth forum in the world, through a very rigorous selection process.

Lastly, given its nature as a high-level forum, G20 often produces high-level principles. It is therefore the job of each national government to translate these high-level principles into actionable policies that can reach those not only who live in cities, but even those who live in the most rural areas. Young people can contribute to this process, because many of them are working on the ground, and they understand what is happening at the grass-roots level. In sum, they can provide meaningful input on how to translate the outcomes of the G20 into actions and programs on the ground.

Y20 Indonesia 2022 will culminate in the Y20 Summit, where the delegates will deliver the Y20 Communique to G20 leaders, represented by Indonesia as the leader of the G20 this year.

Indonesia’s presidency at the G20 should be a catalyst and provide the momentum for meaningful youth inclusion in policy-making processes.

Angelo Wijaya is the Head of Project Management & Research of Y20 Indonesia 2022. He was the Indonesian delegate to Y20 Italy 2021.

This article was published in thejakartapost.com with the title “Y20 Indonesia: Promoting the Youth Agenda at the G20”. Click to read: https://www.thejakartapost.com/opinion/2022/07/13/y20-indonesia-promoting-the-youth-agenda-at-the-g20.html.

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