Friday, September 22, 2006

Global Call to Action with the Youth of the World

Text of a document produced by 10 Nobel Peace Prize laureates directing PeaceJam:

Global Call to Action with the Youth of the World

Today we ask the young leaders of PeaceJam and the youth of the entire world to join us in a Global Call to Action. For the next 10 years, we invite them to work side by side with us as we address 10 fundamental issues. These 10 core problems are at the root of much of the suffering in our world, and we believe that young people can mobilize to make a difference in these 10 key areas. Over the coming decade, we will continue to lead this effort, which is being launched today at the 10th Anniversary Celebration of the PeaceJam Foundation.

It is our hope that by launching this 10-year campaign, we can inspire people of all ages, worldwide, to work for change. Over the next 10 years, we hope to inspire over a billion acts of service and peace.

The Global Call to Action

-- Unequal Access to Water and Other Natural Resources: The lack of access to clean water and arable land is an increasing problem for many people around the world -- and the struggle over these limited resources provides fuel for war and conflict, especially in those parts of the world where the population is exploding. We must work to ensure access to at least the most basic of natural resources, such as safe drinking water, for all.

-- Racism and Hate: Racism and the growing divide between rich and poor are endemic, and it is a problem that affects all of us. There are two societies in most countries -- one of which is a reflection of the media image of prosperity, and one that is hidden and full of suffering. This is creating a tremendous time bomb, ready to go off at any moment, and making it easier for demagogues to fuel hate and to rule by fear.

-- The Spread of Global Disease: One of the effects of globalization is the spread of disease and the potential for devastating new diseases to ravage humanity. National boundaries no longer mean what they once did. The rapid movement of people and goods means that many 'third world' diseases are now threatening the developed world, and have now become the problem of everyone. We must address these diseases together, as one human family.

-- Extreme Poverty: Our world cannot be secure when so many billions of people are forced to exist on less than $1 per day, without access to even the most basic levels of shelter, sustenance or education. Extreme poverty can be eliminated in our lifetimes, and this must remain a fundamental goal.

-- Social Justice and Human Rights For All: the lack of basic human rights and civil liberties, and the persistence of social injustice over long periods of time with no hope or plan for progress or change, always creates a backlash. To try to impose a military solution without addressing the fundamental issues at the core of a society will only feed the growth of paramilitary groups, violence and lack of security in that society.

-- Rights for Women and Children, and Their Role as Leaders: It is essential to bring and end to the exploitation of children, and to defend the basic human rights of women around the world. This includes the right to a decent education. The role of women and youth as leaders in local communities, in developing creative solutions to problems, must be fostered and encouraged.

-- Environmental Degradation: The earth is our mother, and it is wounded. It is out of balance and needs to be healed. Global warming is a reality, and only by a concentrated effort involving individual citizens, civil society, and our government leaders can we address the many causes for the precarious situation we have created for ourselves here on earth.

-- Nuclear Weapons and the International Arms Trade: It is incomprehensible that the world still wastes nearly a trillion dollars each year on the weapons of war. We must change our values and our priorities as we enter the 21st century. We must end the ever-increasing spiral of expenditures on arms, both nuclear and conventional, which only serves to increase the likelihood of violent conflict.

-- Disarming our Armed Consciousness: One of the first things that we must do is to dismantle our own armed consciousness because we are children of a culture of violence, and our minds have been armed. Peace is the grand revolution that humanity has been waiting for. What is required is a profound understanding of the new realities created by our increasingly interconnected and interdependent world.

Focus on Human Security to Create True Security: In order to create increased security in this new world in which we live, we must focus on the issue of human security. When we ensure that basic human needs are met, we are creating a more secure world. When we work for social justice, or to stop global warming, or to provide decent education, or to end racism, we are creating a more secure world. The time has come to shift our energy and our resources from military security to a long-term investment in true human security."

The Laureates -

Archbishop Desmond Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his courageous leadership in efforts to find a nonviolent solution to the conflicts over the policy of apartheid in South Africa.

President Oscar Arias, current President of Costa Rica, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 for his efforts to negotiate a peaceful resolution to the years of conflict and war in Central America.

Rigoberta Menchú Tum was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992 for her work as a peaceful advocate of native Indian rights in Central America and for her leadership among indigenous peoples worldwide.

The Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his nonviolent efforts to resolve the Tibetan conflict and for his worldwide role as a man of peace and advocate for the environment.

Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her nonviolent leadership of the democratic opposition in Burma, following the principles of Gandhi. She has been under house arrest since 1989.

Mairead Corrigan Maguire & Betty Williams were presented with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977 for their efforts to create a grassroots movement to end the violence in Northern Ireland.

Jody Williams of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her work in creating an international treaty to ban landmines and for the clearing of anti-personnel landmine fields.

Adolfo Pérez Esquivel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1980 for his leadership for human rights and true democracy for the people of Latin America.

José Ramos-Horta was presented with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996 for his sustained efforts to end the oppression of the East Timorese people.

Sir Joseph Rotblat was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995 for their efforts to diminish the part played by nuclear arms in international politics and, in the longer run, to eliminate such arms, and for his role in creating the Pugwash Conference.

Shirin Ebadi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for her efforts for deomcracy, peace, and women's rights in the Middle East.