The Delegates

To: Delegates Page 1

Momoko Tojo (Canada/Japan)
Geography and Environmental Studies, Kwansei Gakuin University

We are a society caught in the middle of rapid technological and social change. The one's most affected are young people, as it is our futures that are in question. However, youth today are so overwhelmed with infinate global problems, including poverty, oppression, environmental degredation, resource depletion, nuclear war, etc, that they feel helpless and unable to make a difference. Yet global change affects everybody, and is also created by everybody. Therefore, everybody, young and old has a reponsibility to be aware of what is going on in their world. With globalization, the world has suddenly become a very small place, and every person's actions have a direct effect on the future.

Mayumi Hayashi (Japan)
English, Kyoto University of Foreign Studies

The millennium marks a moment of great responsibility because it is a point in time that everyone is paying such great attention to. The human race arguably underwent greater change in the one hundred years preceding this point than in its cumulative history up to the 19th century. It is not surprising that such rapid change has strained the globe in terms of daily lifestyles, environment, political policies, power distribution, racial and religious harmony, and gender equality. One of the greatest distortions has been the widening gap between those who have everything under their feet and those who have nothing to stand on. And in many ways, the information age has helped exacerbate such differences by giving ready access to information, hence power, to those with access to computers. Thus, if we take advantage of everyone’s fascination with this moment in history, we can make the millennium a point of departure along a path toward greater equality, human rights and distribution of wealth and information.

Anna Zyzniewska (Poland)
Energy Economics and Engineering, Kyoto University/University of Waterloo

Throughout centuries people of all ages were faced with uncertainty about their future. Our generation, however, is confronting changes that are happening at an incredible speed, globally and on all levels, whether social, technological, or environmental. With time, societal infrastructure becomes more complex, as we try to fix problems from previous generations. It is rather difficult to comprehend all the changes taking place at the same time. Even though we are in the so called "information age," a lot of quality information is not available to most citizens of this globe.

It is extremely important that even though we may feel like a grain of sand on the bottom of the ocean we need to understand that any action makes a difference to the whole. In this century we worry more about what should we do to avoid pollution, violence, deforestation, or climate change, rather than envisioning what we want to achieve simply by asking the question - "where do we want to be?." By not doing anything and by not reacting, we are accepting the events taking place that harm the sustainability of this planet.

Bakhdamdemberel (Bud) Dashdemberel (Mongolia)
Civil Engineering, Kyoto University

It is fact that there is only one earth. So it is understandable to the world that integration is neccessary. Certainly, globalisation is taking place and will be continuously carried out in the coming century. This cannot be denied. However, even with all of this, we are still not the same. Somehow, some people still refuse to become the world citizens so often proclaimed. For example: Mongolians are still Mongolian, and Japanese are still Japanese. Therefore, to achieve full globalisation, one of the main problems is to overcome the differences in the way of thinking of people from different cultural backgrounds. For one, citizens of one nation may be of thinking of some phenomena that could be considered unusual in other countries. This unfortunately has existed for a long, long time. However, this should not be problem anymore.

We are all aware of how efficient the transfer of information has become overtime. This led to the world being interconnected, finally resulting in a boundless cultural exchange. With the abovementioned, information flow between and among countries, indeed plays a vital role in globalisation. But it should be with the premise that the information provided is true and it is delivered at a proper time. If this is case, understanding and trust could be built among nations. And this is actually what base of globalization is all about.

Akhmar Magrufov (Uzbekistan)
Medicine, Kyoto University

In these times of globalization, the role of youth in the next millennium is one of the crucial questions that people everywhere must face. If the basic ethical principles that all societies will be unable to enjoy the fruits of globalization and avoid its pitfalls.

Globalization, particularly the globalization of media, threatens this basic social values at times, whether it desensitizes youth to violence or exploitation, or simply devalues the local culture which is the source of the social values in any particular place. The only way in which the fruits of globalization can be enjoyed and its dangers avoided is by encouraging increased interaction and communication among the world`s youth, so that they can become increasingly aware of these benefits and dangers.

James Harvalik (Austria)
Japanese, Kyoto University of Foreign Studies

The time of the millennium before us gives us an opportunity to reflect and focus upon many important topics. Looking upon the amazing advancements of the human race in the last thousand years,it is quite remarkable to say the least. Science has made us to become masters of our world, borders have been fought over and set, the creative as well as destructive technologies we possess make us the most formidable natural force on this planet. However, with these advancements have come also much confusion and ignorance. Nature as our mother, the elements and metals as our sole resource, we still are disillusioned by thinking that our earthly creations are supernatural. Mankind has tricked himself into becoming blind. For the wonder of this world is life itself and the beauties are simply so. We are all one and the same life on this stone that revolves around our sun. Although we are all brothers and sisters immortal, still hatred, fear and ignorance make us enemies. This lack of spiritual awareness is a great evil perse; nevertheless it is ours. Definitions of the great meanings of life already so warped that nothing can be spoken of, much less understood.

The time for humans to take the next step on the evolutionary ladder is at hand. I believe this with all my heart as it is the nature of the universe to bring us all to higher levels of awareness. Science and religion must become one and the various cultures must separate themselves thereof in order to come together.The dreamers will keep dreaming and life is the growth of a new day. This linear and yet cyclic event of the millennium with the fact that it has brought us here is but proof that the faithful fabrics of our dreams are at this moment being threaded into the tapestry of reality. I believe in us.

Hiromu Iyori (Japan)
Economics, Doshisha University

Like it or not, globalization, led by new technology, will certainly continue for at least the next few decades and there will be no way to stop it by individuals or even by a single country. This is now a reality, not a choice. Some people have said that the impact that we are facing is equivalent to that of the invention of the printing machine in 15th century Europe. I understand that this invention caused the Reformation, as the Bible reached the people`s hands.

This time it has happened globally.

I would not think of it as a positive or negative phenomenon but I would rather think that I will produce friction with the former system, such as the rise of nationalism. I consider it as the countermove of the stream of the age. As so much information and new ways of thinking are pouring into our society, we are anxious about what is the true, thus globalization poses the questions about our identity. Now, it is time to rethink ourselves and what are the new possibilities are.

Myo Min Htut (Burma)
Independent study

I am an activist concerned with human rights, democracy and freedom. I am Burmese and left Burma in 1990. I have been in Japan since 1991. Now I am the joint secretary for the Burma Youth Volunteer Association. Our main activities are: to rebuild democracy, freedom and national reconciliation; to inform the world about the Burmese situation and to communicate with other cultures. We are also concerned with refugees and environmental affairs.

Amar Wahab (Trinidad)

As I look back on this Century, I can see the pain and human price that the masses have had to incur to ensure the aims of `progress` of a powerful minority. Concepts of development and technology have rooted themselves insocial, political, economic, cultural, and spiritual processes in ways that have served to widen the gaps of poverty and increase the propensity for physical and structural violence. In addition, they have affected the way in which humans view and use their environment. Countries of the economic North have, through policies and agreements empoverished and disempowered the economic South. Yet within the Economic South there are elitist enclaves which serve to reinforce oppressiona dnd isempowerment.

The future world would be one where cultural, gender and ethnic and other differences are embraced and not just tolerated, so as to give way to the beauty that is diversity. It would be great if we could just even begin to understand this thing we know as `power` and how we can transform hierarchies into lateral distributions of power so that every individual or group is equitably empowered as well as make equitably satisfactory sacrifices.

For youths, we need to realize our own potential as human beings and as a social group, we need to create opportunity for voice ourselves, we need to stand up to the structurally violent education and family systems that shame us and disempower us into thinking we are less than who we can be. Our future world is one with many mutually reinforcing visions along with a vigilant commitment to action ... one where we see ourselves as part of the environment. We must be willing to give ourselves, our sisters and brothers the respect warranted in national policies, trade agreements, etc. that is weakly visible at this moment.

Up to top

To: Delegates Page 1

Japanese Page
Workshop Leaders
Back to Page 1
Press Cuttings
The Organisers