actress_smallRabbi Soetendorp addressed a three-day conference in Bad Honnef near Bonn, Germany which brought together 145 young adults from over 30 countries. The forum took place from 23 - 25 January 2009 and was hosted by Germany’s Earth Charter Affiliate, the Ecumenical One World Initiative, in cooperation with the World Future Council and Germany’s Federal Agency for Civic Education. In the lead-up to the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development, the participants developed their own positions on how environmental protection, peace and social justice should be promoted by education.

They were advised by leading experts, such as Prof. Hans-Peter Dürr, Dr. Rama Mani and Prof. Manfred Max-Neef. The youth worked in many creative ways on the topic of developing visions, values and actions for a just, sustainable and peaceful future, including film and drama. In the conference sessions lively intergenerational dialogues took place, where the young shared their fears and hopes for the future and the elders shared of their life experience. The youth statement that was developed will now become part of the process leading up to UNESCO’s World Conference that will take place in Bonn in the end of March 2009.

Download the youth statement that was adopted at the conference here.

Watch a video of the conference:

And watch the young participants make their appeal to UNESCO:


The Soetendorp Institute


Jacob Soetendorp Institute for Human Values
Van Wijngaerdenstraat 21
2596 TW The Hague
The Netherlands