SSH AT G20 INTERFAITH FORUM
Young Leaders & Global Mentors Explore Pathways Forward
Earlier this month, SPORT AT THE SERVICE OF HUMANITY Young Leaders and Global Mentors participated in the G20 Interfaith Forum held in Tokyo, Japan. This was an incredible opportunity for the Young Leaders to further strengthen their relationships with their Mentors, and for both the Young Leaders and Global Mentors to play an active role on a global stage as they hosted the “Youth Promoting Values for Peace” panel discussion.
G20 Interfaith Forum: Peace, Planet & People
The G20 Interfaith Forum is a platform for raising the level and effectiveness of religious inputs and providing a sharp focus on values on global policy issues. Bringing together global leaders and experts from religion, civil society, government, and academia, the 2019 G20 Interfaith Forum focused on issues vital to security and well-being, including refugees, cross-cultural tensions, health, children, aging societies, and care for the earth.
In addition to Core Recommendations submitted to Japan Prime Minister Abe, Policy Recommendations for action by the world community were developed during and immediately following the Tokyo Conference.
For more details on the G20 Interfaith Forum, click here.
As delegates at the G20 Interfaith Forum, SPORT AT THE SERVICE OF HUMANITY’s Young Leaders and Mentors had the privilege of meeting and hearing from special guests and world-renowned speakers that included:
- The Rt Hon David Cameron, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
- Her Excellency Graça Machel, First Education Minister of Mozambique; International advocate for women’s rights and child welfare
- Sir John Philip Key, 38th Prime Minister of New Zealand
- Enda Kenny TD, 13th Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland
- Lord Carey of Clifton, 103rd Archbishop of Canterbury
Dr. Haruhisa Handa, SPORT AT THE SERVICE OF HUMANITY GLOBAL PATRON, G20 Interfaith Forum Patron and Chairman, Worldwide Support for Development welcomed over 1,000 delegates and special guests to 6th G20 Interfaith Forum. Mr. David Eades, SPORT AT THE SERVICE OF HUMANITY BOARD MEMBER and BBC News Anchor served as Master of Ceremonies.
“Youth Promoting Values for Peace”
Sport at the Service of Humanity’s Young Leaders and Global Mentors had the opportunity to lead a panel discussion on “Youth Promoting Values for Peace” at the G20 Interfaith Forum in Tokyo. The Young Leaders and their Mentors shared ideas that addressed how the power of sport-based play can serve as an effective platform to help communities overcome deep-seated prejudices, break down barriers and encourage conflict resolution. Also discussed was the important role of youth not only as a pivotal component of building peace, but their essential role in passing it on – in making it lasting, sustainable, and meaningful in their communities.
The panel was chaired by Jon Tibbs (OBE, Chairman and Founder of JTA), and included the following speakers:
- Rabbi Carlos Tapiero (Deputy-Director and Director of Education Maccabi World Union)
- Renata Simril (President and CEO, LA84 Foundation)
- Shahed Bishara (SSH Young Leader from Arab town, Israel)
- Martin Rojkes (SSH Young Leader from Argentina)
- Mpai Rampou (SSH Young Leader from South Africa)
Moderator Jon Tibbs addressed the idea of Sport as a powerful peacebuilding platform, noting that peace is the opposite of conflict, not just the opposite of war. He also spoke about SPORT AT THE SERVICE OF HUMANI TY’s Six Principles – COMPASSION, RESPECT, LOVE, ENLIGHTENMENT, BALANCE, and JOY – recognizing that these values are important in sport and in life.
Tibbs introduced the SPORT AT THE SERVICE OF HUMANITY YOUNG LEADERS MENTORING PROGRAM, which is designed to nurture and shape the character of young people in sport today, in the hope that they will become future values-driven sport role models and sport leaders who will use the power of sport as a platform for good – who will not only win in sport but more importantly, will win in life.
Throughout the working session, the Panelists spoke to the power of sport to promote peace and well-being in their communities:
Young Leader Martin Rojkes
“It is important for Sport to teach young people not only the skills to win and excel in the game but also, to use Sport to teach empathy and compassion.”
— Martin also talked about the campaign he launched in Buenos Aires that promotes RESPECT in Sport, on and off the field of play. “Ninguna camiseta es mas importante que un companero” – which means, “No shirt is more important than friendship.”
Global Mentor Renata Simril, LA84 Foundation
“Youth movements have revolutionized the world. Give Youth a voice!”
— Renata Simril talked about Sport as an indispensable tool to help young people become leaders in their communities and Sport’s ability to bring hope and love back to children.
Young Leader Mpai Rampou, From Capetown, South Africa
“Governments must invest in young people by providing education for all.”
— Mpai Rampou spoke about her volunteer work with primary school aged children in lower-resourced communities where they experience challenges with racism and gangsterism. She talked about how they use sport and play-based games as an important educational tool that teaches life skills such as personal responsibility, honesty, discipline. Importantly, she talked about how these programs help shelter the kids from violence and keeps them away from trouble.
Global Mentor Rabbi Carlos Tapiero
“To achieve peace, it is indispensable the conjunction of dialogue, knowledge, acceptance of differences, solidarity, love for all creatures.”
— Rabbi Tapiero said Sports can be a vehicle to change society given its intrinsic values – cooperation, team work, respect, making the best of every challenge, personal and team growth, individual, family and community transformation.
Young Leader Shahid Bishara
“Before SquashBond, I never met a Jewish person. I used to think they were not like us. But I was wrong. They are good and kind. Now, we are like brothers and sisters.”
— Shahid Bishara shared her personal experience as a young Arab Israeli whose experience playing Squash with Jewish kids made her realize that she had more in common with them than differences.
Young Leader JP Masubay
In addition to the “Youth Promoting Values for Peace” working session, Sport at the Service of Humanity was also represented at the Forum by John Paul Masubay, a Young Leader from the Philippines who participated in a panel “Mobilizing for Action: A Dialogue between Elders and Youth on the Future of the Planet”.
During the panel, John Paul talked about the Philippines, a country with over 7,000 islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that is suffering the brutal consequences of natural disasters such as typhoons, earthquakes and volcano eruptions. JP is a survivor of Typhoon Haiyan, a super typhoon that wiped out his hometown of Tacloban six years ago. He questioned why human intelligence can create technology to send people into space, but can’t figure out how to prevent natural disasters or rid our oceans of the plastic. He called on government and religious leaders to listen to the youth because they will be the future caretakers of the planet.
SSH Young Leaders and Global Mentors Working Together for Change
Participating in the G20 Interfaith Forum provided Sport at the Service of Humanity’s Young Leaders and Global Mentors with an incredible opportunity to learn, grow and have a voice with an international community of thought leaders. The vital discussions that came out of “Youth Promoting Values for Peace” working session, as well as the overall Forum, should continue to be explored as we look at the positive influence that sport and youth can have on the world.