[Letters] An opportunity to expand our network and learn from each other

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[Letters] An opportunity to expand our network and learn from each other

Have you ever thought about how it feels to be a financial minister or the leader of your country in an international summit?

We did. We were among the 157 students selected to participate in the Y20 Summit, a model of the G-20 Summit that was held in Seoul from April ? Aug. 2010. Five of us worked together to represent Indonesia: Won-seok Jung, Woon-jung Koh, Ardhyana Rohmah Pratiwi, Salang Lee, and Kang-hwan Kim.

After passing the selection process in April, we were assigned to the country or financial institution that we would represent. As you know, there are 20 members in the G-20: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, EU, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as three international financial institutions, the IMF, World Bank, and WTO. The Y20 summit adopted the G-20 format, so it is divided into two parts. The main stage was opened with the finance ministers’ meeting in Busan and then closed with the leaders’ summit in Seoul.

To prepare for the meetings, our team met almost every week to brainstorm and set up our country’s position, write speeches and conduct research. For a lot of us, this process was the highlight of the Y20 Summit because it allowed us to exchange ideas and bond.

The finance ministers’ meeting discussed six significant issues that have recently caught international attention. The Busan meeting resulted in a communique from the finance ministers, which was to be perfected during the final leaders’ summit.

In preparation for the leaders’ summit, all delegates were divided into four working groups, with each working group tackling a different agenda. The four agendas were reformation on financial regulations, framework for strong sustainable and balanced growth, trade issues and reformation of international financial institutions, and development issues and human security.

During the working-group meeting, each delegate chose to participate in the working group they wanted. They had to submit a background paper regarding the agenda they worked on, then discuss it with other delegates in order to create a final leader statement. The final version of the leaders’ statement was then handed to the presidential committee of G-20 Summit in Seoul. At the end of the leaders’ summit, there were three wards given to participants. Team Indonesia won the Joongang Ilbo Award together with team India and the IMF. South Korea and South Africa both won the Presidential Council on Nation Branding award while the EU won the Presidential Committee for the G-20 Seoul Summit award.

Looking back to four months ago when we started the selection process, the journey seemed long and required a lot of work. But in the end, it was really worth the prize and experience.

Thanks to the Y20 Summit, we met students of various backgrounds and ideas, had the opportunity to expand our networks, learn from each other and most importantly, get a glimpse of what it’s like to be a part of an international conference. Reflecting on the Y20 Summit, we hope for the success of the G-20 Summit in Seoul this November.

Barnas Dewi Octaliza, Jung Won-seok, Kim Kang-hwan, Koh Woon-jung, Lee Sa-lang, Pratiwi Ardhyana Rokhmah, Utami Listiani Cita from the Indonesian team at Y20 Summit
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