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Declaration of Geseke 2005

"Recovery trips abroad for children will be continued!"

  1. With great respect, we, the participants of the German-Belarussian partnership conference in Geseke from 11th to the 13th of February 2005, acknowledge how many people in the East and West are committed to live together in a humane and neighborly way. The German-Belarussian partnership conference in itself is a sign of this which speaks for itself. This also relates to the large number of more than 450 participants from Belarus and Germany, as well as the growth in the existing forms of partnership, friendship and joint responsibility.
  2. Gratefully, we look back on 15 years of reconciliation and meeting each other, cooperation and joint search. Partnerships are:
    • a way of reconciliation and peace between our people.
    • a way of getting to know each other with respect, mutual encouragement and inspiration.
    • a way of joint responsibility for life and the future.
  3. Together with the global community of the United Nations, we are moved and driven in particular by the fate of the children facing the continuing consequences of the Chernobyl disaster. Belarussian children coming to Germany in previous years for recovery have become a bridge at the same time. Thousands of small bridges of peace from person to person, from family to family, from place to place.
  4. 1.The statements made by the Belarussian side regarding recovery trips for children caused protests in Belarus and abroad. The deputy Foreign Secretary Alexander Michnevitch and Oxana Petrenya from the Department for Humanitarian Aid made clear that the Belarussian government still wants to offer these recovery trips abroad to children and that they will be continued to the previous extent.
  5. We refer to the right and responsibility of parents, and other people affected, to unite in initiatives and to independently organize their children's recreation and recovery. It is the government's duty to clarify the framework and to create the freedom for initiatives to independently fulfil their tasks.
  6. Together with the United Nations we regard "Chernobyl" as a permanent challenge which is to continue for many generations [1]. Facing the numerous needs all over the world, specific help can only be activated by specific meetings. For many people abroad, the recovery trips for children have become a starting point and steady reference point for their commitment. The recovery trips have become a central component of the commitment of more than 600 German-Belarussian partnerships.
  7. Together with the United Nations we take every child's right to health seriously and remind you to support and further international cooperation "in order to realize this right in an environment. ... which is conducive to the child's health" [2]. We regard the recovery trips abroad for children as a unique educational chance of cross-cultural learning in a world which is growing closer. [3]
  8. We therefore call on all German and Belarussian authorities who deal with children's recovery trips to other countries to do everything possible so that:
    • "Children form Chernobyl" can continue to travel in the future.
    • the established bridges of peace will not be damaged.
    • the established cooperation between people and non-government initiatives will be maintained and appropriately supported in the future.
  9. 1.We call on all initiatives and people involved to do everything possible to enable children to continue visiting their friends all over the world in the future and to recover and regain strength being with them.

Footnotes
  1. 1.Resolution of the UN General Assembly 45/190 of 21 December 1990
  2. 1.Convention on the Rights of the Child of the UNO of 20 November 1989. Art. 24 and 39.
  3. 1.ibd., Article 29
Recuperation for children

Recuperation for children

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Last modified at 2007-03-23, Gerlinde Fischer. Contact address