Scientology and Human Rights at the UN, raising up the next generation of world changers for peace, at 17th Youth Summit

Scientology and Human Rights at the UN, raising up the next generation of world changers for peace, at 17th Youth Summit
Young leaders for Human Rights and Peace at the UN. 2023 (Photo credit: TS)

Global youth activism for human rights receives recognition as Scientology’s Human Rights Office commends Youth for Human Rights Summit.

BRUSSELS-NEW YORK, BELGIUM-USA, July 13, 2023/ — The Human Rights Office of the Church of Scientology International congratulates Youth for Human Rights International on its Summit at the United Nations, which equipped young activists around the world with the tools to achieve their humanitarian goals.

At this 17th Youth Summit held on July 6-8 inside the UN headquarters, in New York, young leaders from all around the world, including Europe, America, Africa, Asia and Oceania, received wisdom and experiences from Nobel Peace Prize laureates and human rights experts. Organized by Youth for Human Rights International, the Summit was hosted by the Permanent Mission of Timor-Leste to the United Nations and co-sponsored by the Permanent Missions of Ireland, Albania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The theme of this year’s Summit was “IMAGINE: EQUALITY. DIGNITY. UNITY – Young people make it a reality”.

Delegates gathered in the hall of the United Nations Economic and Social Council, where international human rights icons guided and encouraged them to persevere in achieving their goal: to make human rights a reality by raising awareness of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. ‘Man of the United Nations through education.

Timor-Leste President José Ramos-Horta, 1996 Nobel Peace Prize winner, welcomed delegates in a recorded presentation. “ The hope represented by the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights never dies – He said – With your actions today you are making the world you will live in a better place. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations paves the way for a better world. Thank you for continuing to carry the torch and forging a path towards the ideals we share ”.

2024 marks the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a date whose celebrations have started all over. The UDHR document has been the first one to ever define the fundamental rights that all peoples of Earth poses.

“It is appaling that 75 years later our world continues to face preventable humanitarian crises such as human trafficking, hunger as well as abuse of the environmental richness, while over 30 nations are still involved in conflicts, from large-scale wars to terrorist insurgencies. It is clear to me, and to everyone willing to open their eyes and look, that the 30 rights are still treated at some degree as wet paper, rather than tirelessly work to fully implement the for billions of people on the planet” said Ivan Arjona, representative of the Church of Scientology for the European Institutions and the UN.

Those who drafted the document urged governments and civil society already in the very preamble to “work by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive national and international measures to ensure universal and effective recognition and observance”.

It was in December 2011, when the United Nations General Assembly, after being requested specially by civil society and allies in governments, adopted the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training. The declaration calls on member states to “implement human rights education and training”. Yet 12 years later, little has changed.

Youth delegates from around the world co-authored a statement which they read out at the Summit, in which the demand for all UN member states to make human rights education compulsory in schools in their countries.

As evidence of the possibility of doing so, the participants of the Summit were briefed by Jorge Luis Fonseca Fonseca, Deputy of the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica and the Representative of Youth for Human Rights Costa Rica, Braulio Vargas, on how they helped to pass legislation mandating human rights education in all schools in Costa Rica, thus instilling human rights into the fabric of the nation.

Other keynote speakers at the Summit include Timor-Leste’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Karlito Nunes; the Permanent Representative of Albania to the United Nations, Ambassador Ferit Hoxha; the Immediate Past President of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, Dr. Ira Helfand, Nobel Peace Prize winner for 1985 and 2017; the Co-Founder and President of Eyes Open International, Harold D’Souza; Movement Forward, Inc. Chief Operating Officer Jared Feuer; retired Associate Justice of the Philippine Court of Appeals and chair of the Independent Commission Against Private Armies, Monina Arevalo Zenarosa; and Northwest Vista College assistant professor Haetham Abdul-Razaq, Ph.D.

More than 400 officials, ambassadors and representatives of United Nations Permanent Missions, NGO representatives, academics and members of civil society, including from Italy, attended the two-day conference, at the end of which dignitaries signed a proclamation and request for human rights education in all schools.

The event was broadcast on the United Nations website and watched by human rights activists, educators and members of Youth for Human Rights chapters in countries around the world.

The final day of the Summit was hosted by the Church of Scientology Harlem Community Center. Delegates attended a workshop where they acquired skills in planning and executing their human rights education initiatives. Each of them has drawn up a human rights action plan that will help them achieve their goals for the coming year.

The Human Rights Office of the Church of Scientology International congratulates Youth for Human Rights International on the scale and impact of this summit. The Church has sponsored and helped organize each of the previous 16 Youth Summits. Defending human rights is an integral part of the Scientology religion. The Creed of the Church of Scientology, written in 1954 by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, begins with: “We of the Church believe: That all men of whatever race, color or creed are created with equal rights.” The Church of Scientology and its parishioners support Youth for Human Rights International by making it possible to provide its materials free of charge to educators, human rights organizations, and community and civic leaders who wish to educate others about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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