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Petition for a Global Expansion of Youth Exchange Programs Friendship Leads To Understanding. Understanding Leads to Peace

A major, high profile undertaking for the AFS 60th anniversary year is a Petition Drive to gather signatures in support of a global expansion of youth exchange programs. The petition reads as follows:

We, the undersigned, know that peace and justice require that we extend the hand of friendship across borders, cultures and religions and that knowledge and understanding are needed to nurture these friendships.

The nations of the world can promote peace by helping the world’s youth build these friendships.

Therefore we call upon the world’s leaders to enable young people everywhere to live and study in cultures other than their own by significantly expanding youth exchange programs.

Friendship leads to understanding. Understanding leads to peace. We call on all to grasp this opportunity.

The petition is a worldwide effort that will not only involve AFS, but many other organizations with an interest in promoting peace through intercultural understanding. We hope to collect at least one million signatures or more in support of this petition. The petition and its signatures will be presented to the United Nations in a ceremony in connection with the World Peace Forum, a major event organized by AFS, or in a separate event connected to the celebration of AFS’s 60th anniversary. The anniversary celebrations will be held in New York City in October, 2007.

The Petition Drive was launched internationally at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo on April 27th. Representatives from the world wide AFS leadership, including the AFS International Board of Trustees were present, as well as current and former program participants, host families, volunteers and representatives from other organizations.

Please join and enlist your support for this important effort at: