Campaign in Europe

in the framework of the first phase of the Arms Down! Campaign

the RfP EIYN organized a summit of the network members which took place in Paris, France (June 2010)

and supported  4 projects:

Please find below the communication from Ms. Stellamaris Mulaeh, Religions for Peace Global Youth Coordinator, regarding the 2nd phase of the Arms Down! Campaign.

We look forward to your continued support and cooperation as we are about to step into a new series of Arms Down! projects, advocacy, as well as mobilization and engagement of youth and religious communities.

More information and details of this 2nd phase of the campaign will soon be available online on our www.armsdown.net website.

Dear Esteemed Youth Leaders and Members of the Global Youth Network,

Over the last 12 months, the participation and leadership of religious young people and their religious communities across the world has captured the attention of policymakers and nations in regards to advancing shared security and its link to development.  Young leaders, activists, youth groups and students across the globe embraced the Arms Down! Campaign as a way toward a safer world.

On 4th October 2010, 100 youth leaders from all corners of the globe gathered in New York for the Closing Ceremony graced by H.E. Mr. Sergio Duarte the UN Under Secretary General for  Disarmament, Hon. Madam Ela Gandhi (the granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi), H.E. Mr. Eduardo Ulibarri the Permanent Representative of  Costa Rica to the UN, Rev. Kosho Niwano President designate of Rissho Kosei-Kai, and Dr. William Vendley Religions for Peace Secretary General. All speakers called upon the religious youth to continue with the campaign.

Building in the momentum that the campaign has attracted, we are happy to announce that we will continue to work toward our campaign goals, especially by bringing the attention of governments and political leaders to the critical issue of arms-spending and its link to the unspeakable scandal of poverty, illness, and disease in our world.

Therefore I am happy to invite you to the 2nd phase of the Arms Down! Campaign which will have the following priorities: continuation of intensive signatures collection until  December  2010; in-country presentations of the petitions to parliamentarians and other government officials; and the implementation of future Arms Down! projects which will address substantive issues as well as engage youth and our religious communities.

I call upon each of us to be that critical voice of peace that is required in ensuring that this campaign is translated from words into tangible actions. Your voices do matter and, as H.E. Mr. Sergio Duarte told us in the closing ceremony, we shall continue ‘breaking the stones to build cathedrals; to be the change we want to see in our world’.

With the appreciation of the work you continue to do, I remain

Yours sincerely

Ms. Stellamaris Mulaeh

Global Youth Coordinator – Religions for Peace

On behalf of the International Youth Committee, Religions for Peace.

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