[Concluding Statement of the Declaration of Rome (http://www.unicef.org/media/media_50194.html)]
We may not understand the music that our children – our future – our bridge to the future -- listen to. And we may not understand why MYSPACE, FACEBOOK, TWITTER, iPhones, and iPads seem to be their primary and preferred mode of communications and, in some cases, source of information. But it is important that we understand what influences and inspires our children and what they think, care, and dream about.
We must step back for a moment, view the world through our children’s unfiltered lens, engage them in continuous dialogue, and listen. What is going on in their world? When they look at the world outside of their immediate environment, what do they see? What is their vision for the world? How do they perceive themselves?
After reading the Concluding Statement of the Declaration of Rome which is reprinted above and extracted from the website of UNICEF (http://www.unicef.org), it is safe to say that our children – our future – our bridge to the future – have an interesting view of the world and its problems. And they perceive themselves as “emerging keepers” of a planet which, in their eyes, is threatened.
The Declaration Of Rome (http://www.unicef.org) was prepared by 54 children ranging in ages from 14 through 17 during the early days of July 2009 at a conference known as the Junior Summit 8 or “J8” (http://www.j8summit.com) in Rome, Italy. These children – “Emerging Keepers Of The Planet” -- from Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States were members of the “J8”.
On Thursday, 9 July, 2009, a group of keenly intuitive, intellectually engaging, and politically sophisticated children who individually and collectively refer to themselves as “Emerging Keepers Of The Planet”, traveled from Rome, Italy to L’Aquila, Italy and stepped out onto the world stage when they urged world leaders who attended the G8 Summit (http://www.g8italia2009.it) to consider and act upon their concerns.
World leaders were asked by the “Emerging Keepers of the Planet” to work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; make funding available for green technologies to both developed and developing nations; establish an international financing mechanism for energy conservation and implementation of renewable energy resources; cancel the national debt of developing countries; deliver US$50 billion in development funding to Africa; create “End Poverty Bonds” which would be “transferred to micro-financing centers in developing countries” for the purpose of allowing local entrepreneurs to build and sustain businesses and create new jobs; and improve the quality of education by, among other things, providing free, regular retraining and periodic recertification of teachers. In the same breath, they asked for a seat at the “Table Of Humanity” so that they, in collaboration with the adults of the world, could help create key “pieces of the puzzle” to making the world a better and safer place for everyone.
Our “Emerging Keepers Of The Planet” have spoken.
Are we listening?