After two years of intense work on the topic, "Towards a Magna Carta of Values for a New Civilization," we, youth from 20 countries who constitute the World Youth Parliament, present our findings by means of this document to make our voice heard, as well as to make known our personal commitment to living out these values that we consider to be fundamental for building a new civilization, a new civilization which responds to our highest aspirations and which reflects in its every structure the great dignity of human beings, as well as their potential for creating and restoring reality. Therefore, this document gathers the conclusions of the work we have done. It expresses some theoretical principles that we share concerning the topics addressed, and voices various commitments we have assumed in order to put into practice the solutions we have found. We hope that all those persons who identify with the principles and commitments herein expressed, will join us in making this their own this Magna Carta of Values, and we also express our openness to all types of suggestions and contributions which may enrich it. _________________________ The masculine pronouns “he,” “his,” and “him,”, as well as the words “man,”, “men,” and “mankind,” in reference to the human being, the person, or the human race, are intended to refer also to “she,” “her,” “hers,” and “men and women.” These traditional terms have been chosen strictly for the sake of aesthetic flow of the language and denote no gender prejudice.
I. THE HUMAN PERSON OPEN TO TRANSCENDENCE
The Human person is a subject open to more than himself and open to "others.” He is always related to a love that transcends him, that defines and constitutes him. This relational nature places every person, consciously or unconsciously, in possession of an ideal and a model that governs his highest aspirations and motivates his actions. From this foundation the person enters into relationship with his peers, with whom he constitutes a family, a society, and a civilization.
I. 1. Man’s love for God and his authentic vital spiritual experience have always been motivation for the development of civilization, with positive repercussions in culture and in society. We understand that man’s true love for God, as lived by Christ, necessarily includes the love for all persons and excludes all forms of fanaticism and egoism.
We are committed to promoting and devoting time to developing the spiritual life, both personal and communal, to find the best way we could give purpose to our actions and what could be our life.
I.2. Every person (from conception until death) is a singular, irreplaceable being whose inviolable dignity constitutes the foundation of undeniable rights such as life, health, education and civil liberty, among others. The death sentence, torture, abortion and any form of violence go against this dignity of the person.
We commit ourselves to promote dialogue and to defend the dignity of the person, especially of the weak and innocent (unborn, children, people with disabilities, aged, immigrants, the poor etc.) to direct our steps towards a civilization of love, promoting a culture of life and not of death.
I. 3. There exists a moral conscience inscribed in every human being from birth – independent of his religious belief. For this reason he is able to recognize and assume ethical behavior on both a personal and a communal level. We reject all forms of moral relativism.
We try to promote and to deepen dialogue with persons of different beliefs and cultures in order to share our vital experiences and to promote the points that we have in common, avoiding all forms of fanaticism and ideology that go against a person’s integrity and/or commit an outrage against the common good.
I.4. Authentic, vital living of love, and the possession of transcendent values as referents, bring people to behave more generously, giving them the strength necessary to combat injustice and to withstand the suffering that this struggle implies.
We recognize in the person of Christ the model of generous love that always acts to seek the maximum good of all people, accepting the sacrifice implied by this commitment, knowing how to forgive and to love others over and above one’s personal interests, or to deny oneself legitimate goods for others that are greater or that can be extended to other persons.
I.5. The vital experience of spirituality is reinforced when we join with other persons who are trying to live out the same values.
We will seek to share our vital experience of goodness and to promote the family and communal dimension of spirituality.
The family is an irreplaceable reference point for the person and the community, because it is where human beings first experience love and self-giving, in married love and in the generation and care of children. This is why the family is the “cell” of society, the rock on which all individualistic or collective ideologies are defeated.
II.1. The family is the environment where the person begins to develop and grow. A previous reflection and commitment are required in order to constitute a family in a responsible manner, which involves giving and receiving love, formation and affection among all the members..
We commit ourselves to seek to maintain in our families relationships of trust, love, affection, attentiveness and mutual help, so that all the members feel edified and supported by one another. It is also necessary to transmit affection to one another, not just taking it for granted, but expressing it concretely.
II. 2. It is important that the family be founded on the marriage of one man and one woman, with children and members of different ages who share their lives, giving each one the respect which he or she deserves.
We commit ourselves to value all the members of our families in every situation, giving them honour and demonstrating an attitude of service or mutual support.
II. 3. The relationships among all the members of the family must be marked by an authentic love, overcoming the generation gap and possible personal interests.
We commit ourselves to avoid allowing any member of the family to be considered an instrument for satisfying the needs or interests of others. We will seek to relate with each other with a true sentiment of gratitude, making a determined effort to live in solidarity, admitting our mistakes and being empathetic and cooperative.
II. 4. It is worthwhile to struggle for the unity and solidarity of the family, avoiding any kind of separation. The relationships within the realm of the family should always be promoted so that the bond among the members may be strong and not broken.
We commit ourselves to defend fidelity and unity, to practice forgiveness and self-denial as ways of solving conflicts. This does not mean we should not try to educate people and help them to change anything in their behavior that could be harmful to a healthy shared life. We will seek to dedicate time to our families without allowing our professional work or other areas of life to cause a deterioration in our communication, dialogue, or the friendship among the members.
II. 5. Keeping in mind God and spirituality in family life strengthens the family to be able to handle the difficulties of life.
We commit ourselves to live spiritual values that govern our family relationships in such a way as to increase our love, solve our problems and do good for others.
II. 6. All the members of the family should be treated equally and should have the same opportunities, especially concerning education, decision making, freedom and justice, respecting their individualities and needs.
We commit ourselves to love, respect and become tolerant with each of the members of the family, whatever our sex, age or intellectual skills are.
III. INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS
How we treat one another is an indicator of the quality of all levels of human relationships. We construct a true civilization according to the way we treat one another. Human passions are often the causes of social injustice.
III.1. Friendship greatly affects society. Although our personal relationships can be more intense and intimate with some people, an authentic civilization is founded on being open to all human beings, bound together as brothers and sisters, in spite of differences.
We commit ourselves to practice friendship in a generous and unbiased way, and to love others for who they are and not for who we would like them to be, without discrimination or prejudices, with respect and trust commit ourselves to seek unity, empowering communication and dialogue in all areas.
III. 2.Forgiving offenses helps to reconstruct relationships when they are lost, between the one who forgives and the one who offends.
We commit ourselves to promote a culture of forgiveness as a solution to a great deal of problems, not only in personal relationships but also en societal and judicial realms, knowing that forgiveness demands repentance, authentic effort and sacrifice to change our attitudes and behaviors.
III. 3. It is necessary to defend the priority of the value of human relationships, made possible by God, with respect to other types of good (economic, material, etc.).
We intend to make good use of time in order to grow in our lives and in relationship with God and others, without allowing the rush, our eagerness, and the need to be effective and productive to eat away at human relationships.
III.4. Placing God at the center of our lives is a sign of humility based on love.
We commit ourselves to practice the value of humility in each of the relationships that we establish daily with all those who surround us, with sincere love in the image and likeness of that which God offers each of us.
Society is a set of human relationships and of cultural and associative resources, based on common values and ideals that preserve a relative autonomy and independence with regard to the widest forms of collective existence. The whole life of a person does not develop within a family or a political society; rather there is a whole series of intermediate links – from simple friendships to the most complex group or communal relationship – that can constitute the "connective fiber" of society, if they are truly characterized by the accomplishment of human fellowship.
IV. 1. The engine of personal and social history is the love that is reflected in values and virtues such as fellowship, solidarity and taking care of others, which help us to grow integrally.
We want to promote the dignity of those who are most in need, through the exercise of solidarity, becoming conscious that we are all responsible for everyone.
IV. 2. Effort and personal change are two key aspects of the progress of a civilization.
We commit ourselves to promote to establish the most important values and virtues, without allowing ourselves to be overwhelmed by fears, difficulties, lack of hope and motivation. We are against to seek pleasure for the sake of pleasure, to want results without sacrifice. We consider that authentic achievements in life imply personal and communal effort.
IV. 3. Differences of gender, origins, ethnic groups, color, beliefs, opinions, languages and cultures are a potential source of wealth.
We commit ourselves to respect differences and to take an interest in getting to know one another, without considering them to be an obstacle to coexistence.
IV. 4. Every person has the right to integral health care, so that he or she will not be abandoned or marginalized.
We wish to promote health care and treatment or therapy that truly respects the dignity of the human being and his physical, psychological and spiritual welfare.
IV.5. The role of society is to promote a peaceful culture and collaboration, through the active participation of the greatest possible number of people under the bond of love.
We want to recognize that society is indispensable in the management of social conflicts (local, national, international) through non-violent methods with the aim of finding a social justice and equity.
IV. 6. Sports, the arts and culture are vital areas where we offer others the gifts that we have received and where we develop as persons.
We commit ourselves to make creative use of our abilities so as to make others happy, giving the best of ourselves with honesty and authenticity.
Man is marked by the need for communion with others so as to create a broader community where everyone can contribute to the common good and benefit from it; a superior good to which everyone can achieve individually. The nature of the common good, which is first of all “a relational good” and one of communion, requires broad participation, one that is free and responsible, by the people in the community; and an authority capable of unifying and directing the energies of everyone, not despotically, but rather with an authentic spirit of service.
V. 1. Political authority, in all its manifestations, should be based on an authentic spirit of service, and moral authority.
We commit ourselves to exercising our tasks in society in a way that always protects the good of others with a true spirit of responsibility.
We also believe that it is just to be grateful for the good use of power, especially when it implies a difficult and little-appreciated service.
V. 2. Since the political society belongs to everyone, although some have been elected as administrators, everyone has the right to participate in collective decisions. On the other hand, participation is also a duty: insofar as it is possible, we must take part in the life of the community with a sense of responsibility.
We commit ourselves to be agents of positive change in the environments where we live, not limiting ourselves to criticism, but rather proposing constructive solutions in every sphere.
We aim to promote an internal democracy within the political organizations that favors opportunities for growth among young persons based on their performance.
We will make an effort to create room for authentic participation and promote shared responsibility in everything that concerns common life. In this sense, we value democracy as the most participatory form of government.
V. 3. Institutions cannot be an end in and of themselves, but rather they must be oriented towards achieving the common good respecting and promoting essential human values, always linked to a moral responsibility and to service to the community.
We believe that politics, more than a profession, is an expression of love for service dedicated to others.
We believe that political entities should not invade a person’s or a community’s freedom, but rather function from the perspective of the principle of subsidiarity.
Work is not only an inescapable activity, which seeks to ensure the survival of the human being, but brings to life a world of personal and social relationships that affect the welfare of all and the growth of each individual in a personal way.
VI. 1. Work promotes the dignity of human beings and their integration into society.
We will seek, whenever possible, to provide people access to a dignified job in accordance with their abilities and needs.
VI.2. Work is not only a service, it is a gift that enriches fellowship. Work is not a good for trading, but should guarantee the right to a proper compensation.
We seek to foster in the workplace a sense of gratitude towards people who do their work, even though they are paid to do so, as the value of the person and his activity cannot be measured by how much s/he earns or the position s/he holds.
VI.3. Work is a service, so that everyone—not just my family and I—may have access to necessary goods.
We commit ourselves to promote a spirit of service in our working environment, avoiding an individualistic point of view. We reject the pursuit of professional growth at the expense of others.
VI.4. Work is collaboration. It is not possible to achieve authentically positive results if we do not work as a team and share our skills, capabilities and objectives.
We commit ourselves to promote positive interpersonal relations in the workplace - given that we share with our colleagues as much time or more than we do with our families - emphasizing companionship over repetitive work and routines, or all-out competition.
VI.5. Work cannot be the reason of our life. Many times we allow ourselves to be carried away by incessant activity and we are overwhelmed by problems that arise, by the things we must do and the projects to complete.
We want to live and promote an authentically human vision of work that will not prevent us from realizing our deepest vocation; enjoyment of the here and now, the beauty of our surroundings, and the people with whom we share our lives.
VII. ECONOMIC RELATIONS
The world of the economy is composed of a series of personal relationships with the immediate objective --not the final goal-- of the exchange of goods. It is true that an economic relationship has its own specific structure and values, but it remains primarily a form of interpersonal relationship.
VII.1. The goods we possess are for sharing with others, not for enjoying them selfishly according to a materialistic and consumeristic view of life.
We commit ourselves to the correct, social, and ethical use of our material goods and according to a set of values that link us socially and jointly, without prejudice to economic development.
VII.2. We must link economic growth with human development: There is no real economic growth if it harms human relationships.
We favor the diffusion of new evaluation criteria (environmental, social, etc.) that connect economic growth with human growth; and the creation of economic entities which aspire not only to the production of material goods, which not only aspire to produce material goods, but also promote and benefit interpersonal relationships.
VII. 3. Extreme poverty and excessive consumption, due to the poor distribution of wealth and the inequality of opportunities are an injustice. Love of neighbor leads to examination of our own levels of consumption, and material possessions, and to measure our own needs with the needs of others.
We will be conscious that everything has its cost and that the cost may be very high and result in harm to other persons, and thus we will be able to defend and promote solidarity and fraternity, honestly considering the dignity of persons and human relations above money or economic relations.
VII. 4. Solidarity and fraternity lead us to seek new creative avenues for corporate life and the production of material goods.
We want to work for a re-imagining of life in service-based enterprises towards the common good, new forms of aid distribution, the reciprocity of hospitality, and creative responsibility and participation by all.
VII.5. It is a common misconception that one's wealth is dependent on the poverty of others, or that in business one cannot practice ethics and values.
We pledge to promote the bond of communion and trust among people, and not cutthroat competition, as the engine of the economy, in respect for ethics and human values.
VIII. EDUCATIONAL RELATIONS
Education is the relationship that seeks the integral formation of the person, as a function of his or her ultimate vocation and the good of the family and of society. It gives persons the tools and skills needed to impact positively on their own lives, that of others and society in general.
VIII.1. The education of the person must not be reductive or segmented, but integral, to include the care and respect for all dimensions of the human being (physical, psychological and spiritual).
We pledge that our educational actions will always be focused on support and enhancement of the capabilities of others in order to meet their personal aspirations to perfect themselves.
VIII.2. Education, above all, has to develop the person’s ecstasy, i.e., his ability to go beyond himself and to relate with others.
We commit ourselves always to make generosity the means and the goal of our actions in education, and we are convinced that in this respect, the good example of the educator is always very effective, even more so than his words and the discipline that he teaches.
VIII.3. Formal education is a right and must be guaranteed, without any type of discrimination.
We pledge to promote real access to enrollment in schools for children and young people, especially for the most unprotected of society. Moreover, we will support efforts to alleviate the lack of education wherever it is found among of adults.
We pledge to guarantee an education that is humanistic, scientific and characterized by solidarity. We are aware that by educating the children of today, we prevent discrimination against the men of tomorrow.
VIII.4. Educating is the duty of families, schools and society in general. Adults who are models and serve as referents to children deserve gratitude and respect for their effort, which is an authentic exercise of generous love.
We commit ourselves to the proper appreciation of education and to action with a true sense of responsibility, with a sense of true self-giving and gratitude, each one accepting the task that corresponds to him with authentic self-giving and gratitude, and without usurping the indispensable role of the family.
VIII.5. A person’s studies must serve as formation and orientation in fundamental values, not just prepare him to use technologies and to fulfill the material needs of society. This is why each person has to choose a major from the perspective of his true vocation.
We will seek the proper balance between humanistic and scientific-technological studies, and promote academic research focused on the solutions to problems that affect the human being, taking care of and evaluating the person’s formation and not only his knowledge, helping him to discover his authentic personal and social vocation.
VIII.6. Excessive competition in academics can affect the spirit of education, leading students to value only their individual performance and feel the need to be always at the head of the class.
We desire to promote cooperation and team spirit in academics, which in the long run will benefit all.
VIII.7. Every person has a different pace, style and facility for learning; some experience personal difficulties that may lead to discouragement and to quitting school or work.
We pledge to change the competitive person into the person who unites with others, helping anyone who experiences difficulties in academic life or in other areas, lending a hand to continue striving to reach their goals.
VIII.8. Christ elevated to a supreme degree the generosity of all the great teachers, laying down His life for His disciples. His vision of the human person merits consideration as an authentic program of life that allows us a deep and confident relationship with our neighbor.
In our educational work, we commit ourselves to living the attitudes of the person of Christ. We value every effort to study and to delve into His thought, just as is done with all thinkers who have enriched mankind.
IX. COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
Communication (come together), in the multiplicity of its forms, is reciprocal action that has its beginning and its end in the communion between people (as evidenced by its root, composed of "cum" - together - and "munus" - obligation, debt, gift). Information technology, use of mass media, internet, social networks, mobile communication and advertising are fundamental issues.
IX. 1. Information requires truthfulness and transparency at all levels to counter any type of manipulation and instrumentalization.
We commit ourselves to seek truth in every form of communication, avoiding lying and selfishness. We believe that truth, on the other hand, must always be joined to charity, not only in content but also in how we express ourselves.
IX. 2. Giving and receiving information is an obligation—one cannot conceal news to influence the opinions and decisions of others—and a human right—everyone is entitled to express his or her opinion, with mutual respect.
We pledge to defend freedom of speech and opinion, provided there is respect for others, without yielding to the temptation to control information and consciences, dictated by the desire for power.
IX.3. The media, very important tools for human development, must be accessible to guaranteeing the existence of different points of view marked by ethics.
We are committed to promoting the responsible administration of the technological means at our disposal, so as to make them accessible to all and able to fulfill their function of building relationships, and positively cultivating people not creating barriers and divisions.
IX. 4. Some aspects of the use of television, computers, phones and the internet harm our quality of life. We think we control these media, but in reality they often imprison us within a context of empty and superficial messages.
We commit ourselves to responsible and critical use of communications media, not allowing them to enslave us, but letting them truly serve our personal and social goals.
Nature is indispensable for human life, and must be protected and cared for responsibly, maintained and restored so that future generations may enjoy it.
X. 1. It is essential to take care of nature, avoiding waste and reckless exploitation of its resources.
We are committed to protecting the environment through the wise use of natural resources and taking advantage of all available means so that our actions may promote sustainability.
X. 2. All of us have the right to live in a clean and healthy place; moreover, we have the obligation to promote it.
We are committed to preventing the pollution of ecosystems, properly managing the waste we generate, and being advocates for a healthy environment for all.
X. 3. Agreement is needed between the political and economic forces of all countries to promote sustainable development, that we use our potential without putting the wellbeing of our planet at risk.
We propose to seek suitable solutions that guarantee a sustainable and equitable development to benefit the planet.
X. 4. Much of the damage that man inflicts against nature is caused by an overuse of resources.
We commit ourselves to avoid overuse of resources and to promote a culture of respect for the environment through dialogue and communication.
X. 5. All living creatures deserve respect.
We assume the responsibility of respecting living creatures and to promote their defense.
New York, Friday August 13th
We feel satisfaction and immense gratitude for the fact that this Magna Carta has been unveiled at the United Nations Headquarters thirty years after this distinguished institution heard the voice of the Founder of Idente Youth, Fernando Rielo Pardal.
This text will always be alive, with a labor of continuous reflection and study. We hope that many generations of young persons will contribute the wealth of their experience and sensitivity to these lines that are born today like a cry of hope from whose who are also the hope of the world.