Our Work

Declaration on Sustainable Development

New York, USA 2012


We are young people of diverse ethnic, religious, cultural and economic backgrounds committed to sustainable development. We recognize sustainable development as an affirmation of the dignity of the person. The flourishing of the human person, characterized by physical, emotional, mental and spiritual growth, must be the starting point and the ultimate goal of all efforts to make development sustainable.

We recognize the three interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars of sustainable development - social, economic, and environmental - with the person at the center of each pillar.

Social development necessitates a society that respects the family as an essential component of sustainable development and ensures that the fundamental needs of all persons are met.
We believe that the family is the basic unit of society, wherein the human person receives a foundational education rooted in the knowledge of self worth, and has a primary role in nurturing the human person toward achieving his or her full potential. For social development to be sustainable, the fundamental needs of the person must be met, including access to clean water and sanitation, nutrition, basic health care, housing and education.

Sustainable economic development depends on investment in human capital. Our greatest resource is the tremendous potential of the human person. We believe that the person has the capacity to develop the knowledge, skills, and creativity to achieve economic development. We believe that economic development can be achieved through education, vocational training, the promotion of entrepreneurship, innovation and trade, a greater investment in the creation of employment and a more efficient and creative use of resources. Furthermore, good governance is imperative for social, political, economic and environmental conditions to be conducive to the flourishing of each person. We recognize the critical importance of economic growth and maintain that human flourishing is the ultimate goal of sustainable development.

As forward-looking young people, we recognize that there exist pressing environmental issues, and we assert that these require human solutions. We emphasize the importance of long-term environmental measures and solutions aimed at ensuring the health and well-being of present and future generations. Each of us possesses the capacity to improve our natural environment. Because of this potential, we view the growing global population not as a threat, but as an opportunity to meet the challenges of a changing world with innovation and invention. We stand in solidarity with all people from both developed and developing nations, in affirming that responsible stewardship of the earth is the duty of each person.

Sustainable development can be achieved only through a person-centered approach to each of its social, economic, and environmental pillars. Upholding the dignity of the person must be the primary goal of sustainable development and the means by which we create a sustainable world.