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On Monday morning, Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, addressed a group of almost 2,000 young people at Waterfront Hall in Belfast ahead of the G8 Summit.
Speaking before her husband, Michelle said:
“When we reach out and listen from someone else’s perspective, we find that they listen to us.
“We need to rise above all divisions, and treat people the way that we want to be treated.
“Young people today have the freedom of an open mind, and the fresh perspectives to help find solutions to age old problems.”
The President of the United States added to his wife’s speech:
“Your generation have come of age in a world with fewer walls, in an era of instant information.
“You are a generation possessed by clear-eyed realism, and optimistic idealism, aware of the world as it is, but keen to make it as it should be.”
He acknowledged the impact of the recession, and the hardship that it had inflicted on communities “that have suffered real pain”
“It’s in your power to bring about change. In today’s hyper-connected world, things that happen here have an impact far beyond these walls.”
And that’s what we’re here for, the IF@G8 bloggers, to take the things that happen far beyond these walls, to the summit, and to take the decisions made at the summit, and throw them back out, far beyond these walls.
Updates to follow. See www.enoughfoodif.org/g8bloggers to follow me, Richard Murphy, Sarah Robinson and Rosebell Kagumire at the G8 Summit in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland.
Jack Monroe. Twitter: @MsJackMonroe