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Rome Reports

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Pérez Esquivel and Buddhist master Ikeda launch world campaign for peace

Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Pérez Esquivel and Buddhist master Dasaiki Ikeda have launched an unusual appeal for young people.

In Rome, they presented the document "Joint Appeal for Youth Calling for Resilience and Hope," which urges sustainable development and remembering the drama facing refugees.

Adolfo Pérez Esquivel was imprisoned after the political repression in Argentina for 14 months. He was released thanks to an international petition. Therefore, he truly believes that if united, young people can change the future.

Nobel Peace Prize
"Master Ikeda and I have had very hard life experiences, that were traumatic and painful, but we never lost hope that another world is possible. We have gone through many things, so at the peak of our lives we want to pass this on to young people."

Buddhist master's son, Daisaku Ikeda
"I believe that the difficulty and problems faced by young people today are mainly economic. Youth are living in an age of heightened unemployment and this leads them to be discouraged to live or dedicate their life to something.”

Thus, they delivered their document to Paloma and Jacopo, who represent young people from all over the world. This is how they have determined to apply this message in their daily lives.

Student and volunteer
"I am 22 years old and this appeal gives me the strength to continue fighting for my ideas. Nearly daily for five years, I have been collaborating with political refugees."

"As an educator for children and adolescents, I can encourage them to promote this appeal, too. I can show what it means to stand up and create change wherever they are."

The Argentine has already met Pope Francis on numerous occasions, but says he still has many things to discuss with him and he will do it this Saturday at the Vatican.

Nobel Peace Prize
"The pope comes from the Latin American Church and that is why he may clash in some ways with others in the Church, since he is a straightforward man. If a shepherd does not have the smell of sheep, he is not a shepherd. The pope has the smell of the sheep, who are the people of God."

With this appeal, Esquivel intends to pass on all his knowledge to young people, so that peace is possible. Yet, he knows it will not be easy, because as he said, "Peace is not given, it is won. It is a daily struggle, just like democracy."