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Chinese Students Head for World Young People Summit in Italy

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Four Chinese students flew to the Italian capital Rome on Friday to join young people from other countries to participate in the Junior 8 summit (or J8), sharing their ideas on issues like the financial crisis and climate change.

The annual event, in parallel with the G8 meeting, is scheduled to be held from July 5-12 this year, with 14 teams of four young people, aged from 14 to 17.

The Chinese delegates Li Mengyuan, Liang Xiaotian, Zhang Ying and Fang Zhiqian, will be joined by participants from G8 countries Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, and five other Non-G8 countries Brazil, Egypt, India, Mexico and South Africa.

Launched by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in 2005, the J8 summit aims to enable children and young people to present their views and recommendations on issues of global importance to world leaders, and build a sense of global citizenship among them.

Li and Liang are from Beijing middle schools, while the other two are from vulnerable groups, including the "left behind" child Fang of migrant parents from central China Henan Province and the Dong ethnic minority girl Zhang from the southwestern province of Guizhou, said Liu Li, Communication Specialist of UNICEF China office.

"We hope such a combination is able to help the delegates from other countries to have a better understanding of the life of Chinese young people," said Liu.

The focus of this year's J8 will be children rights in the context of the global financial crisis, climate change and development of Africa.

The 14 teams will each select one representative to meet with the G8 leaders on July 9, to present the ideas that come out of the youth summit, in hopes that world decision-makers will seriously consider the perspectives of children and young people.

(Xinhua News Agency July 4, 2009)

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