Contact: Stephen M. Apatow,
Director, International Research & Development
Institute International Peace Center/Interfaith News Network
Eastern USA: (203) 668-0282
Western USA: (775) 884-4680
International Peace Center:
Interfaith News Network:
GLOBAL YOUTH INITIATIVE
FOCUSES ON OPEN DIALOGUE, CONFLICT RESOLUTION AND NEGOTIATIONS THAT WILL
PROVIDE A LASTING SOLUTION FOR SUSTAINABLE PEACE
The youth hold the future
of international peace and security. As terrorism threatens every
society and the world takes action, we all must be reminded of the need
to address the conditions that permit the growth of such hatred and depravity.
Violence, bigotry and hatred must be confronted even more resolutely as
work continues to address the ills of conflict, ignorance, poverty and
In a massive international
initiative, youth programs across the globe are being invited to participate
in a campaign to encourage elected officials, grass roots organizations
and members of their communities to both review and support the International
Interfaith Peace Declaration (http://www.humanitarian.net/peace/declaration.html).
The text reads as follows:
On April 4, 2002, the Humanitarian
Resource Institute Interfaith Peace Center introduced the initial draft
of the International Interfaith Peace Declaration, the full text and revisions
of which appear on the following pages. Following this act the international
interfaith community, intergovernmental and United Nations leadership has
been asked to assist in the development and support of this global initiative.
Whereas the pursuit of peace,
the respect for life and human dignity is the objective of the international
Whereas the escalation of
systemic hatred, anger, animosity and the motive for revenge has resulted
in widespread destruction in the name of religion, in direct contradiction
to the highest aspirations of the common people,
Whereas the war on terrorism
has resulted in widespread military intervention in an attempt to counter
further deterioration of international stability, increased conflicts and
the potential use of weapons of mass destruction that threaten the fabric
of civilization itself,
Whereas it is essential that
peace efforts move beyond military interventions and diplomatic relations
to a new level of intercultural-interfaith dialogue and cooperation to
achieve a consensus for peace on the grass roots level within the borders
of every nation,
Whereas the golden rule,
as a foundation for peace, is endorsed by all the great world religions
and is best interpreted as saying: "Treat others only in ways that you're
willing to be treated in the same exact situation,"
Whereas present conflicts
call for open dialogue, conflict resolution and negotiations that will
provide a lasting solution for sustainable peace,
WE, MEMBERS AND LEADERS OF
RELIGIOUS AND SPIRITUAL COMMUNITIES,
THIS INTERNATIONAL INTERFAITH
PEACE DECLARATION is a common standard for all peoples and nations, to
the end that every individual and organ of society, keeping this Declaration
constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote interfaith
cooperation and support of progressive measures, national and international,
to secure peace and stability.
All human beings are endowed
with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit
of solidarity pursuing peace and justice for all living beings.
Everyone is entitled to all
the rights and freedoms set forth by the United Nations without distinction
of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or
other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
Leaders and representatives
of all major and minor religions and spiritual movements have a responsibility
to promote the universal objectives of the Golden Rule Principle as a priority
message to provide a substantive foundation for dialogue and support of
diplomatic relations for peace.
The objective of conflict
resolution, healing and reconciliation is pursued as a vehicle for revitalization
of the economic, environmental, political, social and moral challenges
facing our Earth community.
Measures are taken to create
an atmosphere where present and future generations can co-exist with mutual
respect and trust to awaken to our deepest truths, and to manifest love
and justice among all life in our Earth community.
Functioning spiritual forums
for world peace are initiated and supported at the international, national
and local levels.
The Humanitarian Resource
Institute International Peace Center serves as a host for the development
of an Forum for World Peace to support the recommendations of this declaration
and to engage the international interfaith community, intergovernmental
and United Nations leadership accordingly.
Note: Consensus Text Revision
The objectives of this initiative
include: (1) the communication of the full text of the International Interfaith
Peace Declaration to the grass roots household/community level, (2) to
request signatures of support from elected officials, grass roots organizations
and members of their communities for this act that has been introduced
to the international interfaith community, intergovernmental and United
Nations leadership (3) the presentation of the signature lists to their
countries national leadership in conjunction with the September 11 anniversary,
and (4) the submission of signatures in electronic format to Humanitarian
Resource Institute for inclusion in the online signatories to the International
Interfaith Peace Declaration.
REMEMBER THE PEOPLE
The Global Youth Initiative
for Peace is being coordinated in remembrance of all those lost in the
World Trade Center/Pentagon Terrorist Incident (http://www.humanitarian.net/interfaith/tradecenter)
and in dedication to Sarah Clark, 65, of Columbia, Maryland, a sixth-grade
teacher at Backus Middle School in Washington, DC. She was accompanying
a student on an educational trip to the Channel Islands National Marine
Sanctuary near Santa Barbara, California, as part of a program funded by
the National Geographic Society.
The Humanitarian Resource
Institute International Peace Center is a collaborative initiative to share
information and enhance academic discussion of issues related to Crisis
Management/Intervention and the prevention and settlement of conflicts
between and within states, with emphasis on policy research and development.
On the web: http://www.humanitarian.net/peace