MONTEVIDEO – The Uruguayan parliament was packed Saturday with some 160 children and teens from around the country who debated and approved a declaration for world peace, as part of the Universal Children’s Day observance this Sunday.
“‘Education for Peace’ was the message to parliament, where the youngsters had two days to analyze, reflect upon and discuss the current state of world peace,” said Nicolas Pons, secretary general of the Uruguayan National Commission of the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization, or UNESCO.
For that parliamentary session, two delegates from each educational institution in the country traveled to the Uruguayan parliament to represent the rest of their fellow students and to take part in a session of the UNESCO General Assembly, presided by Uruguayan Vice President Raul Sendic.
“The role of representing (your fellow students) is very important...you bring a message you discussed and agreed with them in order to have it approved here today in parliament by exercising your skill at democratic representation,” Pons said.
The young legislators debated different ways to eliminate “highly unjust situations that every day violate the rights of thousands of people around the world,” Pons said.
“For us the best moment of this whole process was hearing the boys and girls give their opinions about everything related to the world agenda, which is to say the global agenda,” the Uruguayan official said.
“Today’s discussion is summed up in this declaration that will form part of the message we wish to send to the authorities of our country, of the region and the world, the opinion that children and young people have about such issues as how to promote peace in the world and how too achieve it from their point of view,” Pons said.
Though the statement approved at the end of the session includes several subjects, the one that stands out is the right to education, something the Uruguayan boys and girls said was worth fighting for.