This is an international campaign, sponsored by the youth section of ‘Religions for Peace’ (formerly the WCRP – World Conference of Religions for Peace) and by its International Council, where the Focolare Movement, the Rissho Kosei-kai and Shanti Ashram are represented.
The campaign is counting on inter-religious co-operation and will reach out to international organizations, governments, parliaments and national assemblies, town councils and the media, to ask with determination for a definite reduction in nuclear and conventional arms and to reallocate military spending to support urgently needed development, as set forth in the Millennium Development Goals (United Nations 2000).
It also asks for a review of the International Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, planned for 2010, as support on an international level appears more and more fragile as the situation in areas of crisis gets worse.
The campaign was launched officially in Costa Rica on 7 November 2009. The Focolare Movement participated right from the beginning by sending 6 delegates, amongst who were 4 young people from different countries.
During her trip to Asia last January Maria Voce, President of the Focoalare Movement, inaugurated the collaboration with a solemn signing of the appeal during her meeting with the leaders of the young people of the Rissho Kosei-kai. The collecting of signatures was publically launched in Mid-February during the meeting of the Young People for a United World in Castel Gandolfo (Rome) and subsequently throughout the world. The annual get-together at Loppiano for young people on 1st May (Florence, Italy) and other events linked to United World Week (1-9 May) will be important occasions to spread the campaign.
Who can help?
Everyone – the response is personal and can be made by simply adding one’s own signature on-line at the Religions for Peace site (http://religionsforpeace.org/initiatives/global-youth-network/campaign-for-shared-security/) or by organizing one’s own collection of signatures using the forms that are downloadable from the site.
‘At a time when it is urgent to react to a war mentality’, the organizers affirm, ‘and to give strength to the international civil society uniting with those who are working for the same aim, we feel that this initiative can be a constructive means of supporting practical choices for peace and universal fraternity.’