Governor General Michaëlle Jean addresses youth at MY SUMMIT 2010

Her Excellence the Governor General of Canada Michaëlle Jean spoke to youth at MY SUMMIT 2010 late thos afternoon. She told the young leaders of the G8 about their "willingness to move from words to actions ... All of which constitute a lesson for world leaders." "Take the risk to meet with and listen to young people on their own terms." She urged the leaders of the G8 speaking further to say that youth deserve to be heard. This passionate speech and the discussion which followed inspired the youth delegates from all countries. She went on to encourage the youth to strive to achieve as much as possible to make a difference.

The Vice Regal encouraged youth not to allow frustration to lead to apathy, "With indifference comes cynicism and apathy." Going on to ask the youth about the solutions they proposed to the G8 summit topics.

A take on the past day and a half from the Youth Ambassadors.

The phrase “My Canada is …” from the “My Canada is …” presentation scheduled for the first dinner to welcome international delegates at My Summit resonates in my mind as I further consider the implications of the phrase. One of the questions that occurred to me was how what “my Canada is …” fit in with another person’s Canada and fit in with the greater global community. The leaders of this world do not change the world towards a more sustainable future by focusing on their differences but by focusing on their shared common goal and how they relate to each other. One of our most important roles as youth delegates representing Canada is bridging the gap among international leaders and youth delegates, us and the rest of Canada. We can bridge that gap through learning from each other the differences we hold and working together towards the goals we share. Our learning experiences will go beyond the walls of My Summit, as we share our experiences through the internet using blog posts, facebook updates, twitter and other social networking platforms. As we use the internet to reach into the world, we will be leadersThis week at My Summit, I’m looking forward to getting to know each and every one of the international delegates and use every minute of face-time I receive with global leaders to create a connection and build a golden rolodex. I am challenging myself to learn something new about every culture represented at the G8/G20 and weave a connection between Canada and the other nation! Let’s show the world what it means to be Canadian how to cooperate and be global leaders!

Update 1 After a four and a half hour flight and a two hour bus ride, I finally arrived at Muskoka for the G8 portion of the My Summit. I have had the opportunity to meet and greet fellow Canadian delegates as well as delegates from all over the world!

My roommate Debi Ogunrinde from Halifax and I have had the opportunity of interviewing two international delegations – The United States and Germany. Debi and I come from two sides of Canada and I was really happy to conduct the interview with her as we joined the two sides of Canada together into Team Canada! She will be covering the interview with Germany and I will be covering the interview with some delegates of the delegation of the United States. The United States delegation consists of Danielle Geneux, Lesley Dudden, Jordan Sanderson, Thao Anh Tran, Garrett Harkins, Patrick Short and Melissa Greenway. As youth delegates of Canada, we were curious as to what their first impression was of Canada. Garrett Harkins stated that he was very happy with the “multi-lateral field” that Canada offered and our focus on dialogue, communication and international cooperation. We were able to forge a connection with the US delegation as American delegate Jordan Sanderson commented on his appreciation of Canada’s nature and how it reminded him of his home, Wisconsin. The American delegation was extremely happy with the friendly atmosphere that welcomed them to Canada! Right on Youth Delegates of Canada! Thao Anh Tran of the US is surprised as she “did not imagine [My Summit] to be of such a great magnitude” and is very honoured to be “part of this really important program and [she] hopes that her participation will make a difference.” After our interview with the American delegation, I felt a stronger connection with the international delegations because I came to experience firsthand that we are joined by the same goal of making a difference in the world that we will one day be leaders in!

Debi and Christina

Ps: For the interview with Germany please refer to Debi’s blog!

Update 2

The sun rose in Muskoka at 5:30 am today and youth delegates of My Summit set course on a 5km marathon with Paul Tergat, international marathon winner, at 6:30 am. The weather was slightly rainy but the rain made for an extremely refreshing run! It was a privilege to be able to run with Paul Tergat because he reminded me once more of the importance of determination. Although I was physically tired, running with the other delegates encouraged me to persevere and it proved to be an exhilarating experience. It was an excellent start to an exciting day!

After a quick breakfast with the team, we took the bus to Trillium Resort, the official site of the G8 My Summit official venue. We had the privilege of listening to Mr. Norman Inkster. Mr. Norman Inkster is the former Chair of the Canadian Prime Minister’s Advisory Committee on National Security. Having served as the Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the President of INTERPOL, Mr. Inkster emphasized that in light of the technological advancement “it is not the criminal who travels but the crime that travels.” Being a part of the e-generation, we have access to vast amounts of information which has knit us closer together as a global community. However, the moving of vast amounts of information around the world has also created a new form of terrorism – cyber terrorism. Using different techniques, such as proxies, people can remain anonyms on the web. The protection of identity has both its merits as well as its limitations – it can both protect a person or it can help a person evade justice. Mr. Inkster presented us with the challenge of finding a way to cooperate internationally without infringing on the rights of others in the area of cyber terrorism. The internet and electronic transfer of information is difficult to regulate due to its theoretical rather than concrete nature. At the attempt to regulate internet activity, a question that surfaces is the defining of characteristics of illegal activities. Being a part of the e-generation, it is our responsibility to find a balance among individual liberties, the protection of identity and the prosecution of internet crimes. Mr. Inkster also talked to us about international crimes and the sharing of information. He then challenged our youth delegates to think of innovative ideas to balance the sharing of information, state sovereignty and the prosecution of crimes. We’re the youth in an era of change, it is our responsibility to find the fine balance among many elements as we progress the world towards a more sustainable future.

After the plenary session, the terrorism and nuclear non-proliferation team entered negotiation sessions. Stay tuned for the course of the development along with interviews with G8 youth delegates in the team!

Cheers, Christina Cai

Afternoon team building at MY SUMMIT 2010

The President of Global Vision, Terry Clifford gave an inspiring motivational speech to the youth leaders of the G8 countries, “Promise something, but deliver it”. Seven Delegates from the visiting countries traveled with 14 hosting delegates from Canada to Trillium Resort, located outside of Port Sydney. Throughout the day themes have rotated between plenary discussions and negotiations; Starting with Nuclear Non-Proliferation, Food Security, Maternal and Child Health, and ending with Climate Change. The delegates have been researching and preparing for these sessions for the last few months and are looking forward to collaborating on this occasion. Four experts have been chosen to introduce and promote interest and synergy in the debates. We look forward to sitting in on these negotiations as the summit progresses. After lunch today, the youth ambassadors all had the opportunity for some activities and interactions with the delegates who are all involved in the discussions and negotiations. While canoeing, playing beach volleyball, and lounging on the docks, we decided to conduct some interviews to post here. We spoke to four delegates in total, one from Germany, and three from Japan. It was great to get some real and honest perspectives from them. Everyone seems to be enjoying themselves, and are happy to be here. Eva Koch, from Germany, informed us of some of her goals for the negotiations particularly involving climate change. One of the most interesting goals she had was bringing in different perspectives outside of law, and politics, to the negotiations, as she is a science major. Japan delegates are taking a special interest in North Korea, regarding nuclear non-proliferation. With this, they want to advocate for the issues going on in North Korea, to ensure that all delegates are aware, even though it may not appear to be a direct concern to their nation. Asking the delegates what their first impression of Muskoka was, received positive feedback all around. Eva, who had not visited Canada before, talked about how beautiful the landscape is, and the Japanese delegates all voiced how vast and great the surroundings are. When asked what advice she would give to youth, Eva responded, stating that it is important for all youth to know what’s going on with their government and the world, and to incorporate their personal perspectives into such situations. She also emphasized how important it is to get actively involved. The Japanese delegates showed enthusiasm, and big smiles, saying that their advice to friends back home would be to have a barbecue!

Submitted by Youth Ambassadors Rachel Fletcher and Caitlin Macnab

The Instigation of a YouthfuL, Peaceful Revolution

It is, perhaps, the concept of the future that is the most awe-inspiring to we, the Youth Ambassadors. Norman Inkster delivered a speech fraught with statements both raw and honest, rendering philosophies used in current politics as archaic and outdated. Inkster stated, “Guys like me have had our crack at it […] we’ve probably made more mistakes than successes”, which truly personifies the nature of politics: that politics is, in its most raw form, a process of educated trial and error. It is the democratic process of decision-making, yet there is are no pre-diagnosed or understood ideas. We, the youth of tomorrow, are perceptive to the idea that we will, indeed make mistakes similar to those who came before us; yet we are committed to pursuing a global initiative that unites each country, regardless of ethnic, religious, philosophical or political discrepancies.Canada, the uniting force within the My Summit 2010 program, is, in Inkster’s eloquently stated words, “[…] A solution that is in constant search of a problem. We have a wonderful country, we get along well together and it is a country in many respects to be envied.” We are, quite simply, a mediator throughout our developing world. It reigns as a reminder to nations that sway in their determinate paths on the less travelled road that peace is an inevitable consequence of precise, democratic decisions fuelled by a well-educated society. The countries united in beautiful Muskoka are represented by the “cream of the crop”: the most educated, determined and insightful students from across the globe. Yet, as we merge our perspectives and consolidate our values as a united force, it becomes quite apparent what the problems truly are, and it pushes the politicians of tomorrow, to begin an ideological and technological revolution that will propel our nations into conceptual atmospheres futuristic in their mentality.

Written by Aila Morin

2010 Youth Summit Starts with a Bang!

Hello everyone! I am here on the second day of the 2010 youth summit program. As today kicks off we will be experiencing many different speakers and activities including negotiations on G8 topics and canoeing lessons. The Official program of my summit kicked off yesterday evening during the welcome dinner, which included presentations from, Mr. Terry Clifford, Mr. Tony Clement, the Canadian youth ambassadors, and Mr. Paul Tergat who was our keynote speaker. The delegations had an excellent chance to mingle and to meet others from around the globe. Upon concluding the ceremonies last night everyone retired to their rooms to rest up for the big day today. This morning we will be transported to the Trillium Resort to partake in a few plenary discussions including nuclear non-proliferation, food security, as well as maternal and child health. Along with these three plenary discussions we will have two negotiations later in the day that will be on the issues of nuclear non-proliferation and food security. Finally the day will be concluded with a cruise and dinner reception. Post written by Drew Luhowy as part of 2010 Youth Ambassador blog project.

*Please note that multiple more in-depth updates will be made throughout the day.

Norman Inkster Addresses G8 G20 Youth Summit

Norman Inkster a leading expert on matters of security and terrorism took the opportunity to address the G8 and G20 youth summit. Mr. Inkster previously served as the commissioner of the RCMP. The complex issue of Terrorism and Nuclear non proliferation is one of the topics which will be addressed by the delegates at the summit. The solutions and recommendations of the young leaders from the G8 will be presented in the communique delivered to leaders tomorrow.