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Asia-Pacific Students and Youth Gathering (ASYG) 2008

Statement of Shared Understanding

ASYG 2008August 25-30, 2008

We, the 95 young people of different churches and faiths representing 20 countries gathered for the Asia-Pacific Students and Youth Gathering (ASYG) with the theme Youth Across Boundaries, Redefining the Culture of Peace on August 25-30, 2008 in Yong In, Korea.

We believe that peace based on justice is possible, and together we shared inspiration through study, reflection and collective action planning towards the achievement of the culture of peace.

Our Reflection

We are longing for a harmonious society where different nations live together peacefully. We long for a world in which our similarities and our differences are celebrated with equal joy.

Peace begins with the absence of violence, but encompasses a state in which all living creatures, including humans, can thrive. We denounce all kinds of injustice, violence, exploitation towards God’s people and creation and we will restore peace to make our world the best possible place for all to live.

Today, we are confronted with the reality of war and armed-conflict that has caused the death and destruction of people’s lives in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, southern Thailand and Philippines. We view with deep concern the continuing suppression of people’s democratic voices in Burma. We are particularly concerned with the tension caused by the continuing division of North and South Korea and the US Military presence in this region. We condemn the violence and sexual exploitation of women at all times, especially within the US Military bases area.

There is no peace when majority of our people are denied of their basic right to food, water, shelter, health and education. We believe that the current global neo-liberal economic policies has further aggravated conditions of un-peace when the poor and marginalized are dying of starvation and poverty. We join the people in rejecting Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) that destroys the livelihood of farmers and workers, and infrastructure projects the threatens the environment in the name of profit and development. We are concerned with the plight and condition of migrant workers, immigrant brides in Korea who are experiencing discrimination and hardship in their host countries.

God has created the earth with abundance and our natural ecology must be cherished and protected. We reaffirm that peace can only be achieved through a commitment to basic human and ecological rights for all. Peace on earth is peace with the earth.

As people of faiths, that which, unites us is far greater than that which divides us. We believe that if the peoples of the world are willing to grow in understanding our differences, we can work together to effectively solve the problems facing humanity.

Our Call to Action

  1. Mandate and continue to provide a space for youth to grow, network and interact with others globally.
  2. For local, national and regional organizations to stand and be active in overcoming political, social, economic and ecological injustices.
  3. Identify the root causes of social, cultural, economic and ecological issues including poverty, women and children, migration, human trafficking. and climate change in local communities and provide a space for programs on education, awareness and analysis for possible solutions and alternatives.
  4. Acknowledge, appreciate and celebrate the richness of our region in its diverse cultures, values and traditions by religious, family, community, ecumenical peace gatherings.

ASYG 2008Our Commitment

As the youth of the Asia-Pacific region, we, commit ourselves to action to bring about the reign of peace on this earth. We commit to learn about the complex causes of suffering, in order to act effectively for our peoples and our global community. We are determined to find solutions which require long-term commitment, and action on many levels.

We call upon everyone to join us in this endeavour, and to open our lives to the spirit of God who gives peace in the midst of conflict.

“But once more God will send us his spirit. The wasteland will become fertile, and fields will produce rich crops. Everywhere in the land, righteousness and peace will be done.l Because everyone will do what is right, there will be peace and security forever. God’s people will be free from worries, and their homes peaceful and safe.” (Isaiah 32:15-18)


ASYG 2008 Participating Organizations:

Asia-Pacific Alliance of Young Men Christian Association (YMCA)
Christian Conference of Asia Youth (CCA)
International Movement of Catholic Students (IMCS)
International Young Christian Students (IYCS)
World Council of Churches (WCC)
World Student Christian Federation Asia-Pacific (WSCF AP)
Young Women Christian Association (YWCA)