To the members of the Holy See delegation.
New York City
June 28, 1999

We address you as young people participating in the June PrepCom and UNGASS. We come from countries where the Catholic church plays a very important role and therefore influences our values and development. It especially influences youth by encouraging us to participate and mobilize ourselves through youth groups in our communities.

We came to this meeting having been told in our parishes that the Catholic church encouraged, wanted, and supported youth participation; therefore, you may understand why we are feeling confused by the position expressed by the Holy See.

We are urging you to take into consideration the vital needs of youth around the world and to listen to our voices which are reflected in our document of June 24, 1999 (Suggested Amendments to the Revised Working Paper submitted by the Chair, Rev. 3). We would like to call your attention to the fact that we are here discussing a document that will apply and affect youth from all over the world. Catholic and non Catholic, and in the name of respect for diversity and plurality, we ask you to keep this in mind when revising the working paper.

We, as young women and men, dream of a Church that:

Values sexuality in a positive way, open to all its possibilities and expressions, and that recognizes our decision making capacities based on our personal informed conscience and discernment in faith.

Respects and promotes our right to privacy and does not discriminate when applying human rights (young people are human beings and therefore are entitled to a full exercise of them).

Recognizes us as capable human beings and therefore works hand in hand with us to achieve youth participation at all levels, instead of working to exclude us.

A Church which is committed to embracing ecumenism, which is open to dialogue with other religions, where God is also present; and willing to work with other people, with civil society, with political and social organizations, including youth organizations, for justice peace, liberty and happiness for all brothers and sisters.

Sincerely,

Members of the Youth Coalition on ICPD+5