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Our Declaration.

Peace is built on discussion. Democracy rests on debate. The future depends on sustainable development. This requires the dedication of not only young people but also those in power, to ensure progress that can be continued indefinitely. Sustainable development does not have its foundations in war nor ignorance, but in dialogue and education. 

Apathy is a result of voices that remain unheard, not a sign of voices with nothing to say. Young people are often so disillusioned by their lack of power that even after 18 they do not attempt to use their voice. We can offer not just a new perspective but identify new issues. A stable future needs stable foundations, and young people are those foundations.

Politics is more than old white men arguing in council chambers. Politics affects us every single day of our lives. It is with us when our schools lack the funding to provide us with textbooks, when the bus service to college is cut, when the food and clothes we buy support unfair systems of trade and labour.

Social exclusion is not an abstract term. It has a direct and profound impact upon the lives of young people, and is compounded by government policies that actively exclude us from the processes that shape society. We might not all be old enough to vote but we are all old enough to be affected by politics and to influence the decision making process ourselves. As citizens of our communities we have a right to play a role in making these decisions. We need alternative routes to true citizenship and more than just a token voice.

For too long our support for unsustainable development has been assumed rather than ascertained. Now is the time to change this. This world is not just ours to inherit. It is ours to live in today, and it is today we must be heard. Young people need to become part of the debate.

We put our hands up to be counted. Will you listen?