Plenary Sessions 2021

Global Young Leaders is proud to announce the 2021 Plenary Session themes!
The Plenary Sessions are some of the key highlights of the Global Young Leaders Summit and include speeches by world leaders and Delegate Speakers whose work and stories speak to the topic at hand. All content at the Summit is shaped by the six Plenary Sessions from keynotes to panels. The topics are decided through the Global Consultation Process with our 12,000 + Ambassador Community.

The Climate Crisis

Less Than 10 Years To Go, Can We Deliver The Paris Agreement?

The Paris Agreement’s deadline to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030 is less than 10 years away. Morocco and the Gambia are currently the only two countries whose commitments are sufficient to limit a temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere contributing to global warming. Australia bore witness to some of the most devastating and widespread wildfires in recent history. Approximately 25 million acres of Australian land were burned, roughly the size of South Korea resulting in the deaths of over 1 billion animals. 

There has been a substantial loss of biodiversity as a result of the world’s 6th mass extinction, the impacts of which will be felt globally. The consequences of the Climate Crisis also have a significant impact on human life with an estimated 50–200 million people expected to be climate change refugees by 2050. Out of the Global Young Leaders community surveyed, 73.2% believe that the Climate Crisis is the biggest threat to humanity. The worst hit by this crisis is the global south and indigenous communities. The question of accountability and action must be raised. Is reform enough to solve the Climate Crisis or do we need a revolution?

Rights and Freedoms

How Can We Defend Rights Online And Offline?

Human rights and civil liberties are of paramount importance to ensuring individuals are able to pursue a life free of tyranny in all its forms. From the growth of human trafficking to mass incarceration, rights violations are a global phenomenon. Approximately 50% of the Global Young Leaders community surveyed reported that their civil liberties and human rights had been violated. 

Sexual violence, discrimination and gender equality ranked in the top 3 of topics that required an urgent response in 2020. The violation of privacy rights has continued to grow with the increased use of facial recognition and cyber security threats. The first half of 2019 saw a record 4.1 billion records exposed in data breaches.With the global pandemic facilitating the creation and mass use of track and trace apps, the issue of privacy has again become a central focus of debate. How can we secure and defend our rights in a world that increasingly violates them?

There is also an increased polarity between regions of the world that are preparing for the 4th industrial revolution and those that still struggle to provide basic educational resources and facilities to children. These discrepancies have only been further exacerbated by the global pandemic. Girls and children with disabilities are the most excluded from educational institutions across the world. Automation is predicted to hit women the worst and widen the gender divide. In order to ensure education equips people for the future it must be accessible, affordable, holistic and forward thinking. Can we reform education quickly enough to meet future demands?

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