Youth Diplomatic Service Circa 2012-2013

This was the Youth Diplomatic Service website.
The content below is from the site's archived pages.
View this site as a historical snapshot of the Youth Diplomatic Service as it was presented online in 2012 - 2013.




The Youth Diplomatic Service (YDS) was established in 2011, as the UK's foremost organisation involving young people in the heart of international diplomacy. YDS is the UK member of a global network of youth-led organisations, known as 'The IDEA', which engages young people in international diplomacy and dialogue. What is The IDEA?

Who is The IDEA?


The IDEA is made up of ascending leaders from around the world, from many different backgrounds and heading into a range of careers.

Originally known as The G8 & G20 Youth Network, in 2006, our main focus was to organise the annual G8 & G20 Youth Summits, which brought together ascending leaders at the fringe of the G8 and G20 summits.

Since 2006, the Youth Diplomatic Service has held these prestigious events in Russia, France, Germany, Japan, Canada and the United States. These flagship events continue under the new name of the Y8 and Y20 Summits.

In 2012, we became The International Diplomatic Engagement Association (The IDEA), to reflect the growing desire of young leaders to build bridges beyond our major annual summits. Our mission is to unite young leaders from around the world, and to facilitate their involvement in, and impact on, global issues through open dialogue and engaging diplomacy.

From Italy to Indonesia, South Africa to Saudi Arabia and the UK to the USA, our partners empower young people on every continent and recruit the best and brightest to represent their countries on the world stage. Over the past seven years, we have trained and empowered over a thousand ascending leaders, who have all gone on to pursue leadership challenges at home and abroad.

Below is the list of our founding partners. If you are a member of a national youth organisation that would like to become involved, get in touch.

  • Canada - Young Diplomats of Canada
  • France - Youth Diplomacy
  • Germany - Policy Innovation e.V.
  • European Union - Young European Leadership
  • Italy - Young Ambassadors Society
  • Japan - G8 & G20 Youth Summits Japan
  • Russia - J8 Club Russia
  • United Kingdom - Youth Diplomatic Service
  • United States - Young Americans for Diplomatic Leadership
  • Argentina -Union Argentina de venes Empresarios
  • Australia - Global Voices
  • Brazil - Global Attitude
  • China - Lead Your Way
  • India - Youth for Policy and Dialogue
  • Indonesia - Indonesia Youth Diplomacy
  • Korea - Youth Global Leadership of Korea
  • Mexico - Onceporciento
  • Saudi Arabia - Saudi Youth at the Y8/Y20 2013
  • South Africa - SAYouth of International Diplomacy
  • Turkey - Youth Commission for Dialogue and Collaboration


The UK is the only country to play a leading role in the G8, G20, European Union, Commonwealth, Nato and United Nations, putting YDS in a unique position to develop relationships not just with our G8 & G20 partners, but with global organisations from across Europe, The Commonwealth and beyond.

From 2006-2011 we operated under the name 'Model G8 UK'. To this day, we take the brightest, most dynamic and passionate young people from across the UK and prepare them to take their first step up to the world stage.

YDS is a not-for-profit and is ran entirely by young volunteers, making it unique even amongst the youth sector. The UK Government officially endorsed the 2012 team, as it has every team since 2007.

With a focus on the increasing prominence of the G8 and G20 forums, YDS recruits and trains a youth delegation to participate in the annual Y8 and Y20 Summits (formerly known as the 'G8 & G20 Youth Summits'), which are fringe elements of the main summits of world leaders. 

YDS is the UK's official organising committee in a global network of youth-led organisations called The IDEA (The International Diplomatic Engagement Association), which brings together thousands of young people from around the world to push their agenda to world leaders.

YDS is registered as The Youth Democratic Service Limited in England. Company No: 08472572. Registered Office address: 145 - 157 St John St, EC1V 4PW, London, UK


Ciar¡n Norris


Ciar¡n was raised in Coventry and grew up in an Irish family. After school he spent a year building swimming pools before going to read War & Security Studies at The University of Hull. Whilst at university he became active in politics and served in the Royal Naval Reserve before being elected as President of his Student Union and then as an executive member of the National Union of Students. 

Since graduating he worked as a professional political consultant, democracy campaigner and for the Houses of Parliament. Ciar¡n was also Vice-Chair of the British Youth Council, and campaigned on the issues facing young people in an increasingly challenging environment.

Throughout his career, Ciar¡n has been active in international development, democratic engagement and human rights campaigning. His work has brought him around the world, working on projects with governments, think-tanks, cultural and international institutions.

He is currently UK Campaigns & Government Relations Officer for The Global Poverty Project.

In 2010, Ciar¡n was recruited to represent the UK at the G8 & G20 Youth Summits in Vancouver, Canada, as Minister for International Development. After a successful summit, where delegates called on world leaders to adopt the Robin Hood Tax a year before other world leaders called for the same thing; Ciar¡n was selected to lead the UK delegation to the 2011 Paris Summits as Prime Minister.

Upon his return he founded the Youth Diplomatic Service. As Director, Ciar¡n is Chairman and CEO of YDS. He is responsible for the strategic and operational direction of YDS, recruiting and training delegates, and liaising with international, domestic and government partners. In 2012, Ciar¡n founded The IDEA (The International Diplomatic Engagement Association), a collective of youth-led, not-for-profit organisations based in over 30 countries around the world, who put young people at the heart of global decision-making.


Communications Director
Andy Johnson


Andy served as Minister of Defence for the UK at the Paris Summits in 2011. He studied Ancient History at The University of Reading and after graduating he interned for David Cameron when he was Leader of the Opposition. He is now a professional political communications consultant and provides insightful advice on a range of issues.

Andy had an interest in student journalism whilst at university and was actively involved in the student radio station. This experience came in handy in Paris, as Andy was interviewed by several delegates and YDS partner organisations from across the world.

As Director of Communications, Andy builds links between YDS and political figures. He is also responsible for leading YDS relations with the press, and providing research training to the next UK delegation.


Operations Director
Robert Prager

Robert joined YDS in 2012 when he served as Justice Secretary for the UK at the Washington DC Summits. He is a recent graduate from the University of Leeds where he studied Politics. He is currently working as a business consultant at an international management consulting and technology services firm. 

He has range of political experience having worked in the House of Commons, US House of Representatives, and most recently a foreign government embassy based in London. As Director of Operations, Robert takes the lead on the delegation recruitment process YDS undertakes every year. He recently took charge of YDS€™ expansion in preparation for the 2013 Y8 Summit in London and oversaw a number of aspects of planning. 


Youth Diplomatic Service


JUNE 2013



As the 2013 G8 Summit came to a close at Loch Erne, Northern Ireland, the UK's Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs, the Rt Hon William Hague MP, gave his resounding support to the Y8 Summit. 

He said:

'I am delighted that more 200 young people from around the world are gathering here in London to attend this Y8 Summit. I am particularly pleased that this Summit takes place during the UK€™s Presidency of the G8, and that it comes shortly after the historic G8 Summit in Northern Ireland.

'Deciding how to tackle the world's most challenging issues is not something that Governments can or should do alone. Diplomacy can achieve a great deal, as this year€™s long-awaited agreement on an International Arms Trade Treaty has shown. To make sure that continues, it is imperative that the next generation of political leaders make their voices heard. 

'The work done by the Youth Diplomatic Service to encourage young people to involve themselves in international affairs is something that I wholeheartedly support.'



YDS is thrilled to announce that the Y8 Summit will be taking place at The University of Greenwich, from Monday 24 - Friday 28 June.

Have scoured dozens of leading universities and venues across the capital, YDS decided to host the 8th annual Y8 Summit on the edge of the River Thames.

The University of Greenwich was chosen to host the 2013 summit for its spectacular and historic campus, based on a world heritage site.

€œWe are thrilled to be able to bring the Y8 Summit to the University of Greenwich,€ says YDS Director Ciar¡n Norris. €œWe wanted a venue that brought together the best of London's history, whilst also being well-linked to everything that makes it a world-class, modern city.'

This was a heady time for the accomplished, impressive young professionals who were involved planning the Y8 Summit. My niece attended the Y8 Summit that was held the University of Greenwich. It was such an honor. I can still picture her wearing her favorite John Lennon round glasses frames, dressed in a chic all black outfit standing in front of one of the three 17th century baroque buildings designed by Sir Christopher Wren on the Greenwich campus where the summit was held. She was in her Afrocentric phase and had found an online store that offered wigs for black women. This was not an ecommerce site for inexpensive wigs, but had a variety of wigs for African American women that were available in a multitude of lengths and styles made from synthetic fibers, heat friendly / heat defiant / heat resistant fibers, or from human hair. As a bi racial person, my niece was still finding her identity and style. I loved that she wanted to explore all parts of her heritages from her red haired, Scottish ancestors on her father's side to her Nigerian roots on her mother's side that go back to Nigerian rulers before the arrival of the British in the late 19th century. I was curious as to what style wig she would choose for the Summit. I learned when I saw the pics of her arriving at London's Heathrow Airport. I barely recognized her. She was wearing a sexy, sassy mane of tight, touchable silvery blond ringlets with dark roots that skim her shoulders. Quite a knock out look with those round framed glasses.

Greenwich Campus is on a World Heritage Site on the banks of the River Thames and quite frankly it is breathtaking. Everyday she would send me pics of her and her fellow attendees, with those iconic round shaped John Lennon glass frames perched on her nose and that memorable hairdo. I thought she might outgrow her fixation on round glasses, but today they are more likely to be a pair of Prada or Isaac Mizrahi round glasses. Hair style wise she is into elaborate braids that require hours of time at the hair dresser and additional hair extensions. The girl has style!


MAY 2013




YDS is proud to unveil the new logo of the Y8 Summit. 

Designed by our team, in conjunction with creative support of our Argentinian colleagues from The IDEA, it incorporates the YDS logo and an infinity loop for the '8'.
YDS Director Ciar¡n Norris said:

"This logo is exactly what we were after. It not only promotes brand awareness for YDS, but it also symbolises the fact that, whilst debates can end and issues can be resolved, diplomacy itself is an ongoing effort."

The logo will appear on all our future marketing materials for the summit, including the final communiqu© that will go to world leaders at the close of the summit.

APRIL 2013




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MAY 2012



European delegates assemble in the dome of the Bundestag in Berlin, May 2012.

In May 2012, the Youth Diplomatic Service attended a pre-summit of European delegates to lay the foundations of negotiations for the G8 & G20 Youth Summits in Washington, DC. The pre-summit took place in Berlin at the Humboldt-Viadrina School of Governance, near the Bundestag, between 11-13 May.

The pre-summit, known as EUrope's Voice, brought together the delegations of France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the European Union.

MARCH 2012



The Youth Diplomatic Service is proud to announce our new partnership with the UK's fastest growing and most open blog on global affairs and foreign policy, The Pryer.

Over the coming weeks and months, the UK's Delegation to Washington DC will be producing blogs for this website and The Pryer.

YDS will also be hosting guest blogs from The Pryer's talented writers.  






The Minister of State for UK Trade & Investment, Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint, has officially endorsed the Youth Diplomatic Service on behalf of the UK Government.

Lord Green, who heads the UKTI and is jointly a minister in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, said he was 'happy to give full endorsement' to the 'excellent work of the Youth Diplomatic Service'.

Lord Green continued, 'I am sure you will represent the UK with the enthusiasm and engagement of previous summits, meaningfully challenging the positions of other delegates and producing a considered communiqu©'.




The UK's Delegation to Washington, DC & Berlin has now been selected. 

Prime Minister
Deputy Prime Minister | Business
Chancellor of the Exchequer
Environment Secretary
International Development Secretary
Foreign Secretary
Defence Secretary
Justice Secretary
Press Secretary