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LWF Youth Delegates
Push for Open Dialogue on HIV/AIDS
Presentation Highlights Urgency of HIV/AIDS Crisis
The dramatic presentation
on HIV/AIDS and homosexuality highlighted a youth open hearing at
the LWF Assembly this morning. The hearing focused largely
on the issues of HIV/AIDS and human sexuality.
"Let us fully break
the silence," said James Tan of Malaysia. "Let us make
prevention a priority."
their point, youth delegates wearing black T-shirts stood silently
on stage, their mouths crisscrossed shut with masking tape. Around
their necks hung signs with the birth dates and death dates of
nameless people. At the bottom of the signs in capital letters was
the line: "Stop HIV/AIDS." Finally, on cue, the youth
members removed the tape, symbolizing open communication about the
dreaded disease sweeping across many countries.
> Click here for complete story.
> Click here for Message
of the Pre-Assembly Youth Conference.
Adobe Acrobat Reader.)
at the Assembly
at the LWF Council Meeting, Wittenberg, Germany, September
profile of youth has changed dramatically in the life of the LWF
since 1947. At the first Assembly in Lund, Sweden, a `Commission of
Youth Activities' was created because young people were an object of
concern. In 2002, youth are active participants within the work and
leadership of the Federation. They comprise 20 percent of delegates
to each Assembly and 20 percent of members in the LWF Council, the
highest decision-making body of the Federation between Assemblies.
One young Council member, Dr. Mary Janssen van Raay, is
vice-chairperson of the Tenth Assembly Planning Committee.
This history of growing
youth participation reflects important events and decisions along
the way. The 1970 youth pre-Assembly gathering, `World
Lutheran Youth—WELY,' was attended by forty-nine young people.
Seven served on the Steering Committee of the LWF Fifth Assembly,
which met soon after in Evian, France.
at the LWF Council Meeting,
Turku, Finland, June 2000
The 1984 LWF Seventh
Assembly in Budapest, Hungary, decided that delegate participation
in future Assemblies would have regional and gender balance and
would include at least 20 percent youth. The 1990 LWF Eighth
Assembly in Curitiba, Brazil, elected seven youth, 20 percent, as
full Council members.
The commitment that 20
percent of Assembly delegates from each LWF geographical region be
youth remains essential. For each Assembly, on a rotating basis, all
churches are urged to adhere and nominate youth delegates to ensure
the commitment is upheld.
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