International Youth Year Theme of NGO Conference at U.N.

16 settembre 1983

“The Challenge for Youth in our Changing Society: preparing for the International Youth Year 1985” was the theme of the Annual Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations held at United Nations Headquarters from September 13 to September 16, 1983.

Those attending were Fr. Alex Doumouras, Ecumenical Officer of the Archdiocese, Mrs. Lila Prounis, the Archdiocese’s NGO Representative and Mrs. Sophia Altin, the NGO Alternate.

The three-day meeting addressed social, economic, environmental and psychological problems faced by today’s youth and examined ways in which youth may participate effectively in International Youth Year which has as its theme: Participation, Development and Peace.

The program also covered activities if the United Nations and specialized agencies in the field of youth, ranging from youth’s role in rural development, the relevance of education and volunteering for development through the United Nations.       

A highlight of the conference was a Reflective Prayer Service commemorating the opening of the General Assembly and honoring the International Youth Year organized by the youth members of the Religious Non-Governmental Organizations.  Peter Vlitas and Demetrios Antokas of the Holy Cross Seminary aided in the preparation of this modern ecumenical prayer service which included a liturgical dancer, slides and a folk singer.  Youth from the Catholic Archdiocese, the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, the United Synagogue Youth, the Baha’i International Community and the Unitarian Universalists also participated.

Workshops at the conference ranged from topics such as drugs, crime and juvenile justice, youth and communication (building bridges between nations), youth and the peace process, access of youth to culture and sport, and youth and the family.

The world-wide tree planting campaign to be executed in 1983 was also examined and a panel discussed “Training youth for a peaceful world.”

The conference closed with an address by the Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar on “Youth’s stake in the United Nations.”