On behalf of Religions for Peace Philippines, I welcome you all to Manila and express my congratulations on the 2019 Asia Interfaith Youth Peace Camp!

This year’s Camp is a timely gathering of youth leaders because we are about to conclude the 2019 Year of the Youth and welcome the 2020 Year of Interreligious Dialogue, Ecumenism and Indigenous Peoples declared by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines. Indeed, your gathering here highlights the important role that young leaders have in fostering our shared well-being. Religions for Peace has continuously recognized and mainstreamed the invaluable contributions of the youth.

The theme of your Camp, Fostering our Shared Well-being: Empowering the Asia-Pacific Youth towards Common Action, reminds all of us that we must continue to seek the common ground of the values among our diverse spiritual and faith traditions towards our shared humanity. There are plenty of activities where believers of different faiths can work together towards common goals, promote a different way of life and make a positive change in this world. Your task is to identify these activities, share them with one another and work together to bring your discussions into concrete actions.

As young people, this Camp is also an opportunity for you to make friends. Share your stories on how our experiences on divine love, our spirituality, promotes attitudes that move us to action towards the attainment of shared values such as justice and lasting peace.

Dr Lilian Sison

Secretary General, Religions for Peace Philippines