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"The feeling of the event was special - so many people of different colors and parts of the world, enjoying together."
- Julie Birnbaum

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Planting the seed for the next millenium
by Julie Birnbaum, Nepal
Jan 23, 2000

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Despite Mr. Lama's open mind and flexibility when it came to changing the conference based on the needs of the participants, there was some resistance to the changes promoted by the young people. One of the conference's most heated exchanges came at the end of the final day, just before the closing ceremony. Victor Chandrawira and Clayton Lillenfeldt, who had taken the lead in developing the writing of the Kathmandu Resolution, suggested that a young, international delegate be chosen to read the draft at the ceremony. The original schedule had planned for the Resolution to be read by a member of the Nepali organizing committee. As the delegates began nominating people to read, a stir began, which appeared to be largely among the 100- 150 Nepali delegates present, who felt that having an organizer read was in keeping with tradition and showed them respect. In the end, it was Hari Man Lama who read the hastily prepared Kathmandu Resolution.

"Recognizing the need to eliminate all forms of discrimination and intolerance." the Resolution read, "[and] the important role that youth can play and contribute to the process of peace, harmony and development. Recognizing the capacity, intention, competence and potential at the beginning of the new millenium of today's youth, we resolve."

The resolutions that followed included ideas about the importance of education, communication, networking, and the development of values which promote respect for human rights. They expressed the need to eradicate weapons of war, poverty, and inequality. Though the resolutions were quite general, the final draft will include the more specific suggestions for solving global issues that were developed during the day's discussions. As the conference closed, and participants lined up for big plates of daal bhat, it seemed that even if the Global Youth Meet couldn't do all things for all people, it had at least been successful in bringing people of many nations closer together.

"I got the chance to meet people from countries where I'd never met people before," said a participant from the U.S, "and understand their values, problems, and what is important to them."

"It's not a question of the place, but the people," said K.C. Ramgoolam of Mauritius. "The feeling of the event was special - so many people of different colors and parts of the world, enjoying together."

Hari Man Lama looked tired but happy the day after the conference. He was very pleased with the outcome of the event, and hopes that it can be followed up with other Global Youth Meets in other countries.

"Good things take time," he said, "but if we could implement the Kathmandu Resolution, there is very good hope for youth, society and our nations." Irene Loucaides, who spoke at the closing ceremony on behalf of the foreign delegates, spoke of the ideas brought up at the conference as a beginning, a seed which had been planted.

"Now I hope that we can water, nurture, and most importantly, love that seed," she said, "and incorporate it into our lives."

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