Youth representatives discussed global problems with the leaders of the world’s most industrialised countries at the J8 meeting. These issues include climate change, the fight against AIDS and drug addiction, protecting intellectual property rights, combating extremism and violence among youth, eradicating poverty in Africa, various problems linked to innovative development and the social dimensions of globalisation, as well as topical issues in foreign and security policy.
During the meeting between G8 leaders and the J8, President Vladimir Putin pointed out that the Russian economy is becoming increasingly integrated into the global economy. Vladimir Putin noted that Russian companies are increasingly active on world markets. The Russian President remarked that in 2006 Russian companies invested approximately 140 billion dollars in the international market and said that “this is a remarkable amount”.
While commenting on the problem of socially responsible international business, Vladimir Putin recalled that employees from a Russian company are being held hostage in Nigeria. The President of the Russian Federation expressed his opinion that there would be fewer such cases if all companies — and not only Russian ones — acted in a socially responsible manner and that the people in the countries they operate in see that that the activities of a given company are not only accomplishing global objectives but are also designed to resolve the country’s specific problems.
Russian companies are developing their own plans to engage in specific work and the President of Russia expressed his satisfaction with this endeavour. He added that these companies present the government cabinet the corresponding proposals and promised full support to such plans.
This year the J8 youth forum gathered over 70 students between 13 and 17 years old from G8 countries that were selected through national competitions. Moreover, ten young ambassadors from several African countries including Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal are participating in the forum.
The St Petersburg State University was instructed to form the Russian delegation. It includes men and women from the Northwest Federal District of Russia.
The first J8 meeting was held in 2005 at Gleneagles.