NEW YORK, AUG. 19, 2010 (Zenit.org).- A group of youth representing 20 countries presented a Magna Carta of Values at the United Nations in a session presided over by the retired archbishop of New York and the Holy See’s permanent observer before the U.N..
The World Youth Parliament, founded in 1991, created the magna carta, which was presented Aug. 13, after two years of preparation.
Cardinal Edward Egan, retired archbishop of New York, praised the initiative and welcomed it as a reference point for modern society. He emphasized that the magna carta addresses all of the major themes of humanity, particularly the rights to life and liberty, and is based on the spirituality of the person.
Prior to the official presentation of the magna carta, parliament youth had met at St. John’s University in New York for two days of discussion and debate on the 10 principles outlined in the statement.
The final document is presented as a “statement of personal commitments,” not a “social critique or a document to protest or demand rights.” The magna carta does not reflect special interests, the youth explained, since the World Youth Parliament seeks “both the common good and solutions that benefit all as a whole, always with a predisposition toward self-sacrifice and generosity.” Finally, it is “open to the participation of all young people and reflects their aspirations: This document makes visible the characteristics of the society that we young people aspire to build.”
The magna carta addresses values ranging from the topic of the “human person open to transcendence,” to family, education and the environment. Each of the sub-points in the 10 categories is followed by a commitment taken on by the youth.
For example, the youth affirm: “It is important that the family be founded on the marriage of one man and one woman, with children and members of different ages who share their lives, giving each one the respect which he or she deserves.”
And they follow this affirmation with the commitment: “We commit ourselves to value all the members of our families in every situation, giving them honour and demonstrating an attitude of service or mutual support.”
“All of us have the right to live in a clean and healthy place; moreover, we have the obligation to promote it,” the youth affirm. And they pledge their commitment to “preventing the pollution of ecosystems, properly managing the waste we generate, and being advocates for a healthy environment for all.”
The World Youth Parliament was established in 1981 by Fernando Rielo Pardal (1923-2004), founder of the Idente Missionaries and Idente Youth. The Idente spiritual family is made up of men and women, laypeople and clergy, celibates and married people. It was recognized canonically in Madrid, Spain, in 1994, and 10 years later by the Holy See.
The youth parliament arose from a lecture the founder gave precisely at the U.N. headquarters.
Pardal spoke of his vision that young people might be heard at the global level and thus offer a decisive contribution to social and spiritual issues.
The youth parliament is now considering strategies for implementing the magna carta at a global level.
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On the Net:
Magna Carta of Values at World Youth Parliament site: www.wyparliament.org/index/