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Whitehorse resident selected to be part of Youth G20 Summit

Keely Bass serving as communications coordinator
Keely Bass is one of three Canadian delegates taking part in the Youth G20 Summit. (Submitted)

A Whitehorse resident is part of a trio of Canadian women selected to represent the country at the 2021 Youth G20 (Y20) Summit.

Keely Bass is the Canadian communications coordinator chosen by the Young Diplomats of Canada to take part in the virtual summit from July 19 to 23. It is being hosted by Italy and will be attended by global delegates aged between 18 and 30.

Also selected as part of the Canadian delegation is Laura Bradbury and Jamila Bahay. They will be Canada’s head delegate and engagement coordinator, respectively.

Bradbury is a fourth year political science student at the University of Ottawa and Bahay, from Calgary, is a master’s student in international affairs, trade and international finance at the Graduate Institute of Geneva in Switzerland.

The summit brings together youth delegates from all G20 countries and the European Union to come up with policy recommendations and a final communiqué for G20 leaders’ attention in October 2021, the next scheduled G20 summit.

Bass’ work

Bass works in communications for the Yukon government’s Department of Highways and Public Works. In that job, she’s led projects focusing on gender-inclusive spaces, green energy and digital identity. She’s also worked in the role of information officer for the territory during COVID-19, coordinating the government’s response to the pandemic.

Prior to her time in the Yukon, Bass completed a Masters in International Relations at the IE School of Global and Public Affairs in Madrid. At the same time, she worked as a student advisor for the NATO Policy Planning Unit, focusing on the intersection of artificial intelligence and defence.

An advocate for citizen participation and inclusivity in decision-making forums, it was noted in a statement that Bass is hoping to “bring more Northern voices to global conversations, especially those concerning climate change and digitalization.”

As Bass commented: “As we prepare for the realities of a post-COVID-19 world, we need to promote equality and re-hardwire our society for new social justice norms and standards of inclusion. This needs to be at the forefront of the G20 agenda.”

In a July 19 interview, Bass said international relations has become a passion for her and she was looking at opportunities to become more involved with it when she learned of the Young Diplomats of Canada and the opportunity to be part of the Y20 Summit.

She decided to apply, going through a process that involved writing a number of short essays, followed by a round of interviews before she learned she was one of three selected to represent Canada.

“I was honestly quite shocked,” she said of learning she had been accepted.

In February, the delegates began their efforts to highlight issues they want addressed at the Y20.

A national youth consultation was done along with focus groups in June to establish priorities.

“We had some really engaging discussions,” Bass said, noting the major issues that have come up in her area of focus include access to free mental health services and ending the stigma around mental health, housing, and gender equality.

Along with the consultation with youth, the three delegates have also been taking part in training and meeting virtually with a number of officials from a variety of governments and organizations.

With the summit underway, Bass said she and other delegates will be spending their mornings taking in talks and remarks from keynote speakers such as the executive directors for the World Bank and UNICEF as well as UN ambassadors and others involved in international organizations.

The focus in the afternoons during the summit is on negotiating priorities and the final communiqué for G20 leaders.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at

Stephanie Waddell

About the Author: Stephanie Waddell

I joined Black Press in 2019 as a reporter for the Yukon News, becoming editor in February 2023.
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