outcome document from June 2006 meeting of Anglican young adults at the United Nations on the MDGs

March 7, 2007 at 5:29 am | Posted in Historical documents | Leave a comment

Report dated 21 July 2006

Report and Call to Action from the International Anglican Youth Gathering
New York, 7-11th June 2006


For a week in June the Anglican United Nations Observer’s Office, the Episcopal Church’s Office for Ministries with Young People, and the International Anglican Youth Network brought together fifteen representatives from the worldwide Anglican Communion. Two representatives were sent from each region of the Communion, these being Africa, the Americas, Asia, Oceania, Europe and the Middle East. Also in attendance was the youth representative to the Anglican Consultative Council and four United States companions, three of whom represented the Episcopal Church, the other, was an ecumenical representative from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, neither representative from Asia was able to attend although attempt was made to involve them via email. The focus for the meeting, the first of its kind, was the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as an avenue for dialogue on how to live our faith in the ‘real world’. The importance of partnership, personal connection and global networks in accomplishing this work became apparent as the group toured the United Nation (UN) building and met with others working in the international arena.

The group heard from the Ambassador of Tuvalu, His Excellency Mr Enele S Sopoaga, who spoke about the challenges facing his small island nation, especially those created by global warming. This is a phenomenon which poses immediate threat to his country due to rising sea levels. The Ambassador reported on Tuvalu’s efforts to build regional solidarity among other island nations, and, ultimately with ‘donor’ countries of the UN. He emphasized his hopes that the global youth community would join Tuvalu in the work of building partnership.

Opportunity was provided to engage with Shamina de Ganzaga (NGO liaison to the UN General Assembly President), Katherine Nightingale (World Council of Churches), and Mark Marge, (IANSA – International Action Network on Small Arms). Our guests discussed the challenges and opportunities faced by Non-Government Organisations working at the UN, and again the need for partnerships, dialogue and global interaction became apparent as we discussed the relationships involved in working with member states, NGOs, and mobilizing private citizens to get involved in their own countries.

Archdeacon Taimalelagi Fagamalama Tuatagaloa-Matalavea, the Anglican Observer to the UN, also spent considerable time working with the group. She detailed the history of the Observer’s Office and identified the six key areas she had identified for her term as Observer; these being human rights, gender issues, children’s rights, sustainable development, indigenous peoples and global economic security. That the Anglican Communion has a key spokesperson and participant in international relations was exciting for the group. The institutional relationships that already exist within the Communion, and the promise of personal relationships, make the Church uniquely poised to facilitate a global turn to justice and development.
As a group we entered the work of learning about the MDGs, discussing barriers, challenges, and available resources, and developing group and individual commitments in this spirit of partnership. Our time together was grounded in prayer and the faith that our Lord has called us to this place and to this work, to be the seeds of a just Kingdom where “the needy shall not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the poor perish forever.” (Psalm 9:18).

Throughout our time together, the group found time and opportunities to talk, laugh, pray, create and renew friendships and fellowships that will see them through a lifetime’s work of bringing God’s Kingdom to this world.


The International Youth Network delegates have committed to achieving change (in both attitude and action). They are committed to ecumenism and interfaith work wherever possible. They are committed to making their work and community inclusive, welcoming, and empowering.

We commit ourselves to creating a global community of young adults whose mission is the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. We will do this by creating an online community which can be used to share information and ideas as well as to create a network of support for members of our community. As well as regularly discussing and sharing, we also commit to formally meet online once every three months. This community is to be expanded and each of us has made the commitment to invite others to join the online group. In our own communities, Dioceses and Provinces we each commit to advocate the work of the MDGs not only by speaking formally and informally but by an example of action. The core principle of our advocacy is St Francis’ phrase “Preach the Gospel at all times, use words if necessary”. We will serve as a conduit between the global and the local: where appropriate we will offer ourselves as a Young Adult contact to act as a link between networks.

Each of us has made personal commitments (see Appendix A) to work for the MDGs and as a group we will serve to make sure each member of the group fulfills their commitments. Further to this we each commit to making a personal action plan for work within our own networks within six months of our first meeting.

Having discussed the MDGs in terms of four key areas: Global Development, Children’s Issues, Women’s Issues, and Environmental Sustainability, specific commitments for each category are as follows:

Global Development
MDG 1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.
MDG 6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases.
MDG 8. Develop a global partnership for development.

We will work towards creating a global development partnership by expanding our online community by at least twenty people within six months of our initial meeting. We will make the International Anglican Youth Network website the focal point for consulting and working with global youth on these specific MDGs. We will empower the Youth Representative to the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) to speak to the Council on our behalf to promote and advocate the MDGs.

Children’s Issues
MDG 2. Achieve universal primary education.
MDG 4. Reduce child mortality.

We will develop an educational program for high school students, facilitated by college students which will focus on the MDGs. This program will focus primarily on children’s issues but could be expanded into a more extensive program. We will lobby for increased international cooperation on achieving universal primary education.

Women’s Issues
MDG 3. Promote gender equality and empower women.
MDG 5. Improve maternal health.

We will produce a letter, highlighting women’s issues such as differences in salaries between genders, limits to educational and employment opportunities and domestic violence. The letter will contain specific action points and will be designed to send to government decision makers. It will be available to download along with a list of mailing addresses of decision makers. We will gain Youth support to push the ACC forward on ACC 13-31 and build a formal relationship with International Anglican Women’s Network.

Environmental Sustainability
MDG 7. Ensure environmental sustainability.

Each of us will personally commit to cutting our consumption, throwing away less and recycling more. We will support Carbon Neutrality by making our plane journeys carbon neutral (particularly those to the New York meeting), as well as by advocating this scheme in our own networks. We will work on ways to provide environmental education to those who are not yet fully educated on this matter, with particular regard for those in isolated places where information on the environment is limited or difficult to access. We will work on lobbying our governments to create policies that are environmentally minded.


The Church should be at the forefront of the Millennium Development Goals movement, as a true witness to the Gospel of Jesus and in recognition of its position of moral authority. As Christians, we call for a spirit of ecumenism and interfaith collaboration, as this is the work of all God’s people. The church and its members should, whenever possible, work with existing groups and networks in order to maximize our resources. As young adults, we call for the full involvement of young people in all of this work. Older members of our communities must be intentional about creating opportunities and welcoming spaces; younger members must be proactive about claiming their place.

As Anglicans, we call for the engagement of the whole Anglican Communion – Provinces, Dioceses, Parishes, and individuals. Wherever we come from, we have a responsibility to hold our governments accountable for the commitments they have made regarding the Millennium Development Goals and to involve our fellow citizens. We hold up the unique ministry of the Communion itself and encourage the support of the Anglican Observer’s Office as its representative at the UN as well as the work of the Anglican Consultative Council.

It is not an easy task that we have ahead of us. The achievement of the Millennium Development Goals will require a massive shift in attitudes and commitment from the people of all nations, both religious and non-religious. Although we acknowledge that our efforts may seem small and insignificant, they are the first small steps in a process that can and will lead to greater change. Our work together is rooted in the knowledge that together as Children of God we can create change and bring God’s kingdom to the world.

Europe & The Middle East: Neven Abu Rahmoun, Richard Whitmill

Oceania: Wade Aukett, Katrina Stevens

Africa: Odwa Gonya, Tiana Morel

The Americas: Lucas Correia de Andrade

Anglican Consultative Council: Sarah Tomlinson

United States of America: Laura Amendola, Rhonda Waters, Andie Zapeda

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America: Becky Sorenson


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