WYA members adopt Environment on Population and Development at 13th ISF

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“It’s been very inspiring to see how I can make a difference with my fellow youth from around the world,” Corin Friesen, a US delegate at this year’s International Solidarity Forum shared.

Over 60 young people from 16 countries around the world attended the 13th edition of the ISF with the theme Population and Environment. The 4-day forum was held from March 7-10, 2016 at the World Youth Alliance and United Nations Headquarters in New York City.

The United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) last autumn. These goals, focused on the people and the planet, are the international development agenda for the next fifteen years. At this year’s ISF, the delegates examined together the interrelation between people and our environment and the importance of ensuring that the SDGs are understood and implemented in ways that are truly person-centered.

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“I had a great experience at the ISF. I got to learn a lot from my fellow young people from different cultures and on how we can have solutions that promote the dignity of the person,” André Marinez, a Mexican delegate shared.

The forum included breakout sessions, interregional dialogues, lectures from expert speakers and a negotiation on this year’s Declaration on Population and Environment. The declaration asserts that “people must be responsible stewards of the environment and should live harmoniously with the planet for their mutual flourishing and not at each other’s expense.”

Further, our members also affirmed “the need for greater intergenerational solidarity in the effort towards the preservation of our shared home and that responsible stewardship begins in the family and extends to both local and global communities.”

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The declaration further called on civil society, governments, international, and educational institutions to promote responsible, fact-based policies, respectful of human dignity to address environmental degradation such as climate change, as well as demographic imbalances, such as declining birth rates.

The 14th International Solidarity Forum will discuss Migration and Development and will be held from March 27-30, 2017 at the WYA and UN Headquarters. Applications will open on July 2016.

To view the photos from this year’s forum, you may click here.