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Rome Reports

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Young people with the desire to change the world: Universal Youth Parliament

More than 100 young people from 17 countries gathered in Beijing to celebrate the fourth edition of the Universal Youth Parliament. The purpose of these meetings is to reach common agreements on what it is to be human, regardless of race, nation or creed.

In a world like today, where wars and conflicts proliferate, these young men and women dared to address the topic of forgiveness.

President, World Youth Parliament

"Forgiveness is the cornerstone of our relationships and it determines if a relationship is maintained or not. There is nothing more radical: no ethical, religious, moral, philosophical or literary proposal. There is no higher proposition than the one given by Christianity about forgiveness."

The Universal Youth Parliament is a forum for ongoing debate in which young people from all over the world unite to address issues of concern. The initiative was created in 1981 by Fernando Rielo, founder of Idente Missionaries, so that the voice of young people could be heard worldwide.

This mystic, writer and Spanish poet believed that a human being is a sacred being, and if treated as such, the world could change. That is why he entrusted young people with the mission of restoring society from the personal experience of each one.

President, World Youth Parliament

"The Parliament wants to create an opportunity for coexistence, where each young persons' experience is put into play, and crucial questions for existence are asked. Also where each young parliamentarian and each member contribute to the methodology of the dialogue."

Director, World Youth Parliament Asia

"It was a great experience, because you see people from different countries, different cultures and different languages. They all have different experiences. So, in the beginning, when you speak, you hear different experiences, but then, at the end, there was something in common that manifested itself in the produce of this work from everyone."

The first edition of the Universal Youth Parliament took place in Rome in 2009 and the following year they took it to the UN, where they presented a magna carta of "Values for a New Civilization."

After these days together in Beijing, they will continue working from their cities and will reunite in 2020 in Madrid. As Pope Francis asks, they will continue fostering a culture of encounter and dialogue.