Youth visit Hellenic Parliament

A monumental day for youth in Greece and around the world.

Participants from the Global Youth Activation Summit joined Special Olympics Chairman and CEO Tim Shriver at the Hellenic Parliament to deliver a proclamation to the President of the Hellenic Parliament, Mr. Philippos Petsalnikos. The “Promotion of Sports, Integration and Schools Act” sets a precedent for the citizens of Greece and provides an example globally on the importance of youth leadership, integration, unity, respect and inclusion. The Plenary resolution will be used as a rule for all future decisions at the Greek Parliament relating to youth, inclusion and people with intellectual disabilities.

The program included inspiring words from Tim Shriver; Mr. Petsalnikos; Joanna Despotopoulou, President of the Organizing Committee for the Special Olympics World Summer Games Athens 2011; His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew; George Papandreou, Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic; Anna Diamantopoulou, Minister of Education, Lifelong Learning and Religious Affairs; Christos Aidonis, Deputy Minister of Health and Social Solidarity; Stratigis Voukidis, Global Youth Summit Member; and, Mathew Williams, Sargent Shriver International Global Messenger.

The speakers took the opportunity to praise the global youth leaders for laying a foundation of respect and inclusion and helping to change the mentality around people with intellectual disabilities throughout the world. “Young people lead us not in the future, but today [… and] they are leading us with joy,” said Tim Shriver. “An investment in unity, in integration, in young people… there is no more important investment.”

During the Special Olympics World Summer Games Athens 2011, 67 youth leaders from around the world are meeting to discuss issues of youth participation, social justice and inclusion at the Global Youth Activation Summit. The strength and initiative of these international leaders was praised by the Greek government leaders. Christos Aidonis spoke of the power of the Global Youth Activation Summit, indicating that the Summit “allows for a field of ideas that creates an opportunity for respect.” Additionally, Prime Minister Papandreou added, “[The Summit] is sending out the same message as the original Olympics, a message of peace and cooperation.”

Watch Tim’s inspirational speech to young people and Greek government leaders. Are you inspired to be a part of the Dignity Revolution?

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