To the heads of the countries of the world
To the civil and religious leaders
To those responsible for the mass-media
To national and international organizations
We are 213 children from 40 nations of the world, gathered together here in Japan to participate at the “Conference of Children for the Future”. One great ideal binds us: to build a world of peace.
Belonging to different religions, we want to live the “Golden Rule” which is present in our beliefs: “To do unto others what you would like them to do unto you, to not do unto others what you would not like them to do unto you”. Practically, we want to live this reciprocal respect, the love which is present in each person’s DNA. And this means: to love everyone, forgetting ourselves and thinking about others, without discriminating against those who have ideas that are different from our own or who belong to another race or ethnic group; to be the first to love, without expecting others to take the first step; to love our enemies as well, forgetting past offenses, learning to forgive, telling one another with compassion what we can change and improve in ourselves.
In these days we have experienced that love can change every relationship if we look for what unites us rather than what divides us. Why cannot this happen among nations as well? We would reach the point of loving the other country as our own and peace will then be guaranteed.
The human person cannot live alone. We have to support one another to live. We believe that to be grateful to those who support us and to become those who can do something for them in return will create our bright future.
The future belongs to us. We would like you to hear our voice: let’s make an appointment in our countries so that we children will be able to meet and have a dialogue with you. We would like to become the voices of all the children who suffer in the world because of exploitation, wars, diseases as AIDS.
Aware that there are many differences still present between rich countries, where consumerism reigns, and poor countries, we have decided to begin to live and spread a new culture, a culture of giving and of sharing. If we were to live like this among nations, all the resources of the earth would be distributed equally without any differences. We would like the elimination of the foreign debt of poor countries to be the first step towards this goal, so that they may have a better possibility for development and a higher standard of living.
In order to put an end to all wars and conflicts, let’s encourage dialogue and collaboration, committing ourselves decisively to disarmament and use money intended for weapons for non-violent goals.
We would like sports not to be a means to make money, but an occasion of encounter and of friendship among people, where we learn to work together, to win, to lose and to start again.
Drugs destroy the future of children and it is a very serious problem in some countries. If we had better prospects for the future, many would not use drugs. We ask you to firmly fight this evil, with laws which would protect us.
Let us not indiscriminately take advantage of the natural resources, but thinking of our future generations, let us do as plants do: take from the earth only what is needed. We know that people are happy if they live in peace with themselves and with the nature that surrounds them. Help us to defend and preserve nature, stopping deforestation and promoting recycling. Create “green” spaces in the cities where we can all get together.
Let us give special care to the elderly, because they give a precious contribution to society with their experience and wisdom.
Let us use science and technology not as a means to themselves but as a service to humankind, encouraging also the research of alternative sources other than nuclear energy.
Peace begins in the heart of every person. We would like values, like knowledge and respect of all cultures and religions, to be implemented into schools and that education for peace may be included in the curriculum.
We would like that globalization, which the world is heading toward, not be based only on financial and economic interaction, but on a cultural and religious exchange so that all people may become one family.
We ask that the mass-media spread the positive that is in the world; we ask for objectivity and that they inform us about the difficult situations in the various countries in order to be able to live more in solidarity. We ask you to prohibit the broadcasting of violent programs, which do not respect human dignity or the value of the human body. Let us put an end to the production of games and cartoons that encourage violence as well as the Internet sites that can harm us children in any way.
We have already started to build peace. We know, however, that in order to reach this goal, we need you. For this reason, we ask for your help, especially for those places we cannot reach. Every day we pray for the achievement of this goal, certain that we will receive help from Heaven to reach a new and more united world, where all people of the earth can live happily and as brothers and sisters.
The participants at the Conference of Children for the Future