Between the 17th and 20th of June the Y20 Pre-Summit unfolded in Belem do Para, Brazil, a city in the heart of the Amazon Forest. This marked the first in-person gathering of this year’s Y20 delegates, providing them a platform to engage directly, deliberate on policy directions, and present their proposals.

The Y20 Brazilian Organizing committee prepared a thorough and entertaining schedule for the participants. The program comprised of cultural, informative and negotiation activities. The delegates visited different local restaurants, while trying the traditional Brazilian cuisine. They were also taken by boat to the heart of the Amazon forest, where they got to see the surroundings and try different home-made products.  Throughout the days, the schedule also entailed numerous negotiations sessions where the delegates from each country presented their policy focuses in an engaging dialogue based on their specific tracks. This aimed to already pave the way towards the fruitful negotiations planned to take place in August in Rio during the Y20 summit.

On the second day of the Pre-Summit, different panel discussions took place offering the participants the opportunity to listen and ask questions with knowledgeable speakers on various topics of interest for the youth. One such panel discussion was organized in collaboration with the UNESCO MGIEP on the topic of SEL (social and emotional learning) programs and climate anxiety.  The panel had 6 youth speakers and 3 decision makers. One of the youth speakers was the European Union Delegate and Delegations Director at YEL, Ana Opre. She underscored the systemic barriers hindering youth involvement in climate action and on the salience of SEL programs in addressing climate anxiety concerns amongst the youth. 

The Y20 Pre-Summit in Belem do Para catalyzed meaningful exchanges and strategic groundwork for future deliberations and also underscored the importance of collaborative efforts and innovative solutions in tackling global challenges such as climate change. The event’s diverse agenda and spirited discussions laid the foundation for the upcoming summit in Rio, promising further impactful outcomes on the international stage; it also set the stage for the Y20 Summit set to be held in Rio in August. We will report with further coverage of this event when it happens.