“It shall be a Jubilee unto you

and ye shall return every man unto his possession”

…so that all may live free!

Arena 2000

Palaverde di Villorba (Treviso) – Sunday, 2 January 2000 – 1.30 p.m.

  They had grown so indebted that they had become slaves. And slaves they were to remain, with their children, and the children of their children, for all generations to come. And that’s the way it would have been…

The biblical Jubilee was not conceived as a spiritual event, but rather as a clean break from the existing socio-economic order: it included cancelling debts, restoring land, abolishing conditions of exploitation, so that all people might benefit from the resources needed to start a new life as free human beings. Historically, no Jubilee was ever fully implemented, but the prophets never stopped proposing it.

We live in a world in which the poor whose future has been taken out of their own hands are increasing every day. Today, the challenge felt by the prophets is more topical than ever. And it is a challenge that concerns us all, believers and non-believers, because each one of us is personally involved: through our behaviour and lifestyle each one of us shares responsibility for the overall system.

The Jubilee of the year 2000 will be for us the “right and proper” time to try and build a global society that is more just, one which respects the rights of all women and men. To achieve this we need to pursue the following objectives:

Ø      Cancel the foreign debt of impoverished countries;

Ø      Restore the land for a fair redistribution of resources in full respect of indigenous cultures and natural biodiversity;

Ø      Exert pressure in favour of a political control over international investments (M.A.I.; Millennium Round), monitoring the activities of TNCs;

Ø      Guarantee dignity of labour, especially respecting the rights of women and children;

Ø      Promote a culture of peace and non-violence for a world without wars, without armaments and without the death penalty;

Ø      Recognize ourselves in all permanently poor pilgrims, immigrants, social outcasts, victims of discrimination, ensuring we all enjoy the same rights;

Ø      Choose a sobre lifestyle, reducing the quantity and quality of our consumption in a spirit of brotherhood and respect for nature, to build a sustainable future for all.

But how can we act upon these objectives in our daily lives?

How can we avoid getting caught up in all the rituals and symbolisms surrounding the year 2K?

We want to set in motion community programmes that may help us identify and quantify the “restitutions” each one of us can put into practice daily, to join forces and create the synergies needed to make our actions powerful enough to influence the world’s political institutions, to change the existing economic structures and pave the way for alternative systems.

All of this will not be achieved overnight. It calls for a long-term commitment, working together step by step along the road to justice. We would like to take the first step at the dawn of the new millennium, on Sunday 2 January 2000, at Palaverde di Villorba (Treviso), at 1.30 p.m. Together, we shall hear the words of extraordinary witnesses of our times from all continents, in the tradition of our previous meetings at the Arena in Verona. But this event will also provide us the opportunity to exchange experiences, to decide on new projects and commitments that we can engage in together, setting further dates throughout the course of the year to monitor our progress, together building up our confidence in the fact that it is possible to shape a new world in which there is room for everyone.

We want to take this first step starting from some campaigns that are already underway: Sdebitarsi – Jubilee 2000, The Appeal of the Nobel Peace Laureates for the “International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World”, Campaign for Armament Reconversion, Campaign for a Suspension of the Death Penalty in the Year 2000, Budgeting for Justice, Fair Trade Campaign, Campaign against the MAI, Campaign to stop the use of child-soldiers.


Promoters: Ass. Beati i Costruttori di Pace, Banca Etica, Centri Missionari Diocesani del Nord-Est, Coordinamento Caritas Diocesane del Nord-Est, Operazione Bilanci di Giustizia, Tavola della Pace.