Youth Coalition Presents Alternative Message at UN

Says It Disagrees With Official Outcome Document

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NEW YORK, JULY 25, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The International Youth Coalition of pro-life organizations presented an alternative message at a U.N. meeting on youth that recognizes the rights of parents and calls for policies that benefit young people.

Tyler Ament, director of the coalition, is in New York participating in the two-day U.N. High Level Meeting on Youth that is taking place as part of the International Year of Youth. The meeting, which ends Tuesday, has as its overarching theme "Youth: Dialogue and Mutual Understanding."

At the end of the meeting, member states will adopt an outcome document, which is the result of an effort to gather input from some 89 youth organizations representing youth from around the world.

Ament, however, said in a press release sent out by the coalition that he doesn't agree "with much of the document produced by governments for the High Level Meeting on youth," or with the "messages being put out by UN agencies like sex rights for young people and other objectionable ideas."

To that end, Ament and his colleagues presented a Youth Statement to the UN and the World that has been signed by 120,000 people including 57,000 under the age of 30.

"The Youth Statement recognizes the rights of parents and calls for policy makers to return to basics and get away from dangerous ideas that are harmful to young people," he explained.

The statement was crafted last year at the World Youth Conference in Leon, Mexico, and emphasizes in eight points values such as the family, the right to life, and sexuality based on a true understanding of the person.

The International Youth Coalition is a group of young people from around the world that celebrates the fact that humans are made in the image of God, intrinsically relational, and are called to live a life with purpose and meaning.  

The coalition organized a number of events to coincide with the U.N. meeting, including a daylong Youth Formation Day on Sunday that end with Mass presided over by Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, the permanent observer of the Holy See's Mission to the United Nations, and a prayer vigil in Dag Hammarskoldj Plaza.

Today, the coalition organized a U.N. side event sponsored by the Holy See Mission to the United Nations titled "Youth Protecting and Promoting Human Dignity."

On Tuesday, a concert by Celtic rock band Scythian in downtown Manhattan will close out the International Youth Coalition’s programming for the UN meeting.

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On the Net:

Statement of Youth to the UN and to the World: www.iycoalition.org/read-statement.html