Campus: Cal Poly, Pomona -- July 27, 2000

Teen Activists From Around the Globe Take Part In 10-Day Youth Conference at Cal Poly Pomona

Ninety students from 20 countries around the world have convened at Cal Poly Pomona for the First Young General Assembly Session. Their purpose is to promote global understanding and cultural sharing.

During their 10-day conference, which runs through July 30, students are discussing poverty, crime and social issues as they relate to children as well as preparing to participate in the September 2001 World Summit for Children, which is being chaired by Raisa Gorbachov.

The conference - a world first - is being organized and facilitated by the PEACEWAYS International Committee at International Polytechnic High School (I-Poly), located on Cal Poly Pomona's campus and is being presented by PEACEWAYS, a California-based nonprofit group whose plans and policies are set by those under age 18.

I-Poly students have been facilitating plenary sessions, the working committees and the regional meetings as well as teaching participants about the communication skills and successful group process used at I-Poly. Delegates have been discussing the Young General Assembly Charter completed by Internet conference in March and plan to approve it during the conference. Committees are also designing projects that youth around the world can participate in to help alleviate identified problems in their country. The conference also includes cultural sharing events that will allow participants to learn about other ways of life.

At PEACEWAYS conferences between 1990 and 1994 young people brainstormed their ideas for a youth oriented partnership with the United Nations. The annual World Summit of Children Projects was created and featured local preparatory meetings across the globe at which children learned about the United Nations, discussed children's issues and created project plans to initiate in their communities. Delegates from the preparatory meetings were selected to attend an international summit at which the preparatory meeting decisions were presented. An international delegate was then selected to attend a post-summit function that would support the United Nations in its efforts to bring about world peace.

In 1999, the Young General Assembly Charter began at the San Francisco conference and was completed at the Internet conference. Registration for Young General Assembly member organizations opened in April and during the first two months over 700,000 young members registered.

For more information contact Luci Burger, Assistant Principal, I-Poly High School, (909) 869-2467.

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