Leh (Ladakh) | Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur on Friday asserted that India will eventually ensure the largest-ever youth participation in the history of Y20 summits, which, he hoped, will bring forth more innovative ideas to solve some of the most difficult issues being faced by the world.
Speaking to the 100-odd youth delegates from 30 countries on the concluding day of the Y20 Pre-Summit here, Thakur added that the event taking place in India as part of the country's G20 presidency this year, will "exemplify youth-centric efforts and showcase progressive policy measures ideated by the youth and for the youth across the globe." India has been given the presidency of the G20 group of nations this year, with the country set to host the Leaders' Summit in September.
The Y20 deliberations and negotiations among the 100-odd youth here will form the basis of the Y20 Summit to be held in Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) in August and the key takeaways from there will be put before the Leaders' Summit in New Delhi.
Addressing the delegates here, Thakur said, "India will eventually ensure the largest ever participation of the youth at Y20. I am confident that the Y20 secretariat and the team will set a record in Jan Bhagidari, which is the youth participation at G20 India.
"I stand by the firm belief that the Y20 summit in India in 2023 will exemplify youth-centric efforts and showcase progressive policy measures ideated by the youth and for the youth across the globe," said Thakur.
The minister also exhorted the youth across the world to "shape the national as well as international discourse" and take the lead in finding solutions to the issues their regions are facing.
"The (Pre) summit is providing an extraordinary opportunity for the youth to shape the national as well as international discourse in many ways. Be proactive in finding solutions to the problems our respective regions are facing. Our hon'ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi has, time and again, underscored that, and I quote, 'The runway is ready for you to take off whether it is for economy or education, sports or entrepreneurship, skill development or digitalisation; you the youth now have a mission to make a global impactm,'" he said.
He also urged the delegates to make full-hearted efforts to find solutions to global issues.
"You can't find solutions to local or global problems without stepping out of your comfort zones, without collaboration and adapting to building consensus on pressing issues. And that's why, I'm delighted that the Y20 summit 2023 has identified five critical themes that will serve as a guiding light for you (youth)," he added.
He said that there will be challenges along the way, and that a generational shift would be required. But for the betterment of the world, that hurdle needed to be crossed.
"I am aware that my generation was cautious, critical and had a lot of constraints and challenges. However, you (youth delegates gathered here) must move away from the constraints of the past, exploit the opportunities in the present to unleash the potential of your countries in the future.
"You must not be bogged down by prejudices, preconceived notions and get influenced by the world view of the past. The world of today is different and more dynamic. We are in an era of great nationalism, flatter landscapes and emerging alliances. Make the most of it now," Thakur said.
Shedding light on the success of the Y20 programmes in the run-up to the Pre-Summit here, Thakur said it was heartening to see that some of the surrendered militants had also participated in panel discussions on peace building and reconciliation to usher in a new era of no war.
"Some of you will be surprised to know that even surrendered militants who were very active at one time and wanted, those surrendered militants participated in the panel discussions on peace building and reconciliation, ushering in an era of no war at Guwahati in Assam," he said.
"Such is the power of Y20 as a platform to build connections, communications and community building. It is truly a privilege to be here amongst you all young and bright minds gathered from all the G20 countries." The minister also shared details about the number of participants who had taken part in several discourses, discussions and debates since the time the G20 presidency was awarded to India earlier this year.
"I am happy to share that 100 G20 meetings have taken place in 41 cities so far. Over 12,300 delegates from over 110 nationalities have attended G20-related meetings till now. Over 30 events have been held as part of Y20, which includes inception meetings, Pre-summit, Y20 consultations and brainstorming sessions.
"We have organised the Y20 meetings and consultations in nine states and UTs of India. About 350 experts and speakers from diverse walks of life have imparted knowledge on several key subjects in Y20 consultations. Over 10,000 direct participants have taken part in Y20 so far," he added.
Though Chinese delegates did not attend the Y20 Pre-Summit here, the minister did mention the neighbour in his speech on Friday, while introducing the member nations participating in the negotiations here.
"The land of the Great Wall, kung fu martial art and giant pandas -- China," said Thakur.