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International Youth Parliament 2000
by Oxfam - Community Aid Abroad
The International Youth Parliament is an international assembly of young people from diverse backgrounds working for social change. The International Youth Parliament 2000 (IYP2000) was held in Sydney, Australia, following the Olympic games, between the 19th - 28th October 2000.
An initiative of Community Aid Abroad - Oxfam Australia, IYP2000 is an international youth declaration of the need to act together under the banner of equality and democracy. IYP2000 brought together more than 300 delegates (aged between 15-28) from 160 countries.
It is hoped IYP2000 will act as a vehicle for young people around the world to develop the specific skills and action strategies needed to effect positive social change at the grassroots, government and international levels. Delegates have the unique opportunity to put forward their ideas for building a diverse and sustainable human society and to seek youthful solutions to global problems.
The agenda of IYP2000 focuses on three significant areas: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty, Youth in Conflict and Cultural Activism. Training, skills exchange and capacity building form the fourth pillar of the IYP2000 agenda.
It is an opportunity for young people from all over the world to meet and understand their similarities and different realities. Together, the delegates create a diverse reflection of the worlds youth. They will speak as advocates for significant issues, rather than as ambassadors for their own countries or peoples.
Upon returning home delegates will use their new skills to undertake individual action plans; establish regional youth symposiums; build and consolidate supportive networks; and endeavour to inform their governments, opposition parties and other significant local and national bodies, of the outcomes of the International Youth Parliament 2000.
Have you ever faced discrimination? How well are human rights protected in your community? Social harmony is created by the willingness of people to accept both common values and diversity within their communities. Social conflict can occur when conflicts over values and priorities interact with issues of poverty, development, human rights, discrimination and culture. It is conflict between individuals and groups in the absence of warfare, but the effects of social conflict can be just as destructive as war. Such conflict often stems from discrimination and prejudice, to which young people are particularly vulnerable.
IYP2000 examines the ways that social conflict may impact on young people due to their cultural or ethnic group, their gender or simply because they are young: in essence, whether as young people their fundamental human rights are violated or ignored. What are some of the causes of social conflict in your community and what strategies would you use to overcome prejudice? Make sure to visit the International Youth Parliament 2000 site and visit the online forums and discussion groups these international youth delegates took part in.

Submitted at 3:00pm 20th Oct, 2000
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