Our Work

Declaration on Development

New York, USA 2007

Drafted and negotiated during the 4th Annual International Solidarity Forum, held at United Nations Headquarters during the 40th Commission on Population and Development, the Declaration on Development puts forth a vision for development which holds human dignity at the centre.


We, young people of diverse ethnic, religious, cultural, and economic backgrounds affirm that each person has inherent dignity.  Recognition of this dignity is the basis for authentic development.  Each person lives in community and therefore has the responsibility to contribute to society through the gift of self. We believe that the members of society contribute to or hinder development through their choices. 

Authentic development is a process that takes place at all levels of society creating a social, political, and economic environment that allows persons to reach their full physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional potential.

Basic necessities such as access to clean water, sanitation, and adequate healthcare promote a healthy population which is essential to development.  Responsible stewardship of natural resources allows a population to develop without compromising its well-being.

We believe that education is a foundational element of development. The goal of education must be to help people recognize their dignity and equip them with the necessary tools to exercise their potential. When every member of a population is aware of how their education contributes to development, they will be able to fulfill their responsibility in society.

The creativity of the human person is earth's greatest resource and a catalyst for development.  Human creativity generates new ideas and alternatives for development. We assert that although the human person’s creative capacity is unlimited, it should never be implemented in ways that compromise the inherent dignity of every human person.

Each society has its own demographic structure with specific implications for development within that society. It is necessary for individuals, society, governments, and institutions to work in solidarity to foster the adequate conditions such as freedom, peace, and security that lead to development.  It is not the density or composition of a population that determines the degree of development.  A population which utilizes its creativity can overcome obstacles to development, including a lack of natural resources.

We invite persons at all levels of society to use their creativity, skills, and resources to provide opportunities and the necessary environment for authentic development.