Jeddah Youth Declaration

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Jeddah Youth Declaration on Volunteering and Dialogue adopted at the International Youth Conference on Volunteering and Dialogue in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 30 Muharram – 2 Safar 1435 / 3-5 December 2013

WE, the youth gathered at the International Youth Conference on Volunteering and Dialogue in Jeddah, organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Culture Organization, the Ministry of Education of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the King Abdulaziz Center for National Dialogue, adopt the following declaration on this International Volunteer Day (5th December): WE SINCERELY APPRECIATE the efforts of the hosts and organizers of this Conference to make the voices of the world’s youth heard in global fora, to bring our messages across and to allow us to take part in platforms in which we can connect and exchange our views; WE STRONGLY BELIEVE that the youth of the world carry a special responsibility to respect, nurture and promote dialogue and diversity, aspiring to achieve a culture of peace and sustainability for all of humankind and leading to effective and efficient social impact, and that youth volunteering embodies this responsibility; WE ARE CONCERNED, by the current multiple crises which compromise our chances as future leaders to make the world better than we found it; WE RECOGNIZE that volunteering and dialogue, guided by the same aspiration to unite people around common causes, generate mutual benefits and transform the lives of all those involved in this process; WE UNDERSTAND dialogue as a way to enable cooperation, promote the sharing of experiences, and foster solidarity, within and among communities, cultures, faiths, generations and nations; WE PLEDGE to integrate dialogue at all levels of volunteering; WE APPLAUD young volunteers for their on-going contributions to efforts benefiting communities around the world, such as humanitarian, peace-building and heritage-related initiatives, and call upon all relevant stakeholders to support and promote these efforts; WE ENDEAVOUR to work with the world’s leading organizations for youth with the aim of establishing sustainable partnerships benefitting young volunteers and promoting a culture of dialogue and mutual understanding through volunteering; WE AFFIRM the need to cultivate an ethos for volunteering and dialogue rooted in solidarity, empathy, self-confidence, critical thinking, respect and appreciation for diversity, the spirit of initiative and teamwork, patience, perseverance, the art of listening, and meaningful participation and recognition; WE EXPRESS our concern about the gap between ideas and their implementation, and believe that this gap can be bridged by a joint, networked, upstream and sustainable effort of all involved;

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WE REAFFIRM our commitment to maintaining the adequate space for creative exchange of experiences, establishing new forms for sharing, youth civic engagement and intercultural dialogue, while avoiding the risk of systematic framing and standardisation. WE URGE Governments, Local Authorities and the private sector to consider Volunteering and dialogue as important components of youth personal and professional development and create an enabling environment in which youth volunteering can flourish. WE COMMIT to build on the experiences shared in this Conference and the messages contained in this Declaration to increase the number of youth engaged in volunteering throughout the world; WE COMMIT to share the contents of this Declaration in our societies/communities including social media platforms, encouraging a debate on volunteering and dialogue in order to foster global citizenship; WE CALL UPON the youth of the world to join us in our endeavour.

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