The Africa committee meeting convened in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso from 15th -18th December 2016. The AFC under the theme “Democracy in Africa: The Importance of Youth Participation in Building Social Democracy”, comes at an opportune time when Africa is facing a backlash on the gains of democracy. The challenges faced by our continent are enormous and we, as young activists within our individual countries, must actively take up the mantle of ensuring that through activism and political campaigns, we call on our leaders to address these challenges. The meeting focused on Students and Youth Activism as a Catalyst for Democracy, the Challenges and Prospects for Women Leadership in Pursuit of Social Democracy, and the Promotion and Protection of Minority Rights in Africa.
The American Committee Leadership Conference ’16 took place in Santiago, Chile from the 17 to the 20 of November. In the programme we had the opportunity to discuss important issues such as the difference conflicts active in the region, meet the President and other important political figures of the country and the region.
We also had the chance to discuss on the current state of the different countries and organisation on the region in a session facilitated by the Pool of Trainers in cooperation with the Vicepresidents of the region. Another of the main sessions was on the socialist vision of socialism in America.
At the end of the meeting a work plan was drafted so you will be hearing more news about the upcoming work in the region.
All this issues and more are reflected in the statement released by the committee, check it out!
American Committee ’16 Statement
The American Committee of the International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY) met from 17 to 20 November 2016 in the city of Santiago de Chile with the aim to reflect on the current situation in our region and the challenges of socialism in complex moments for the progressive proposals in our countries.
On a global stage of deepening of the capitalist economic system we see how in America the wave of conservative governments threatens the political and social transformations conquered. This is accompanied by a general discredit of traditional politics, deepening in individualizing story and an estrangement between parties and their social bases.
Worrying in turn is the growth of right-wing populist speeches that, showing racist positions, macho, xenophobic; they are the ultimate expression of the anti policy. Manifestation of this is the promise of construction of the wall that separates the United States of Mexico.
We oppose the violation of the guarantee of due process in the political judgment made to the Chairperson Dilma Rousseff and the use of the institutional channels by the groups in power for the dismissal of a Government legitimately elected by the people.
We note with concern the increase in the inequality, poverty and unemployment in Argentina that has increased since the last change of national government. It is, to all lights, a indisputable reality that this government of the new right, Argentina has accentuated the policies of exclusion, marked by the benefit to the privileged sectors at the expense of the work and the effort of the medium and low social sectors.
It is alarming the advance of organized crime in the region where the networks of drug trafficking and trafficking demand the coordination of policies, of international cooperation in the defence and guarantee of human rights. Special mention should be made of the situation in Mexico with thousands of women exploited and killed on a daily basis.
IUSY welcomes the announcement of the new agreements between the Government and the FARC, which constitutes a new opportunity for reconciliation between Colombians, configuring a crucial moment not only for Colombia, but also for the region. We hope that progress will be made soon on the ratification and implementation of the agreements, for the consolidation of a stable peace, lasting, to ensure the protection of human rights in order to achieve a more equitable nation.
We also insist that the dialog process in Venezuela needs to be plural and address the underlying problems that are the cause of the political crisis in the country today. The way out to this conflict must be through constitutionally established democratic processes, therefore we see with concern the deliberate lock in the recall process on the part of the government.
We believe it to be more than necessary to forge closer links with the grassroots social organizations, promote new forms of citizen participation that will contribute to the strengthening of institutions and the democratization of our societies. For all this is essential to consolidate the unity of the left movements throughout the continent.
The American Committee extends a greeting to host organizations for the activities organised, as well as many successes to electoral processes that are approaching in Ecuador and Chile. It also supports the candidacy of former President Fernando Lugo in Paraguay, driven by the front Guasú, with a view to the elections of 2018.
YES to peace in Colombia 2
Ni Una Menos!
Vivas nos queremos!
All Over The World to Change It!
IUSY American Committee ‘16, Santiago, Chile 19th November
Please find attached the press release of IUSY VP’s and American Committee Coordinator Jesús Tapia:
Desde la Unión Internacional de Juventudes Socialistas – IUSY, por sus siglas en inglés- expresamos nuestra preocupación antes los últimos acontecimientos que se han producido en Venezuela, producto de la ausencia de espacios de diálogo y entendimiento entre los distintos actores del país.
La polarización y el conflicto se han incrementado en Venezuela de manera acelerada, lo que ha hecho más vigente la necesidad de un proceso de diálogo, negociación y acuerdos tendentes a la solución de la problemática política causante de las dificultades económicas y sociales que viven los venezolanos y venezolanas. Desde IUSY recomendamos que el proceso de diálogo venidero sea inclusivo y participativo, enfocando su esencia en los valores de la democracia y la solidaridad.
Como organización juvenil internacional, hemos estado presentes en diversos procesos políticos y sociales que ha enfrentado la sociedad global y es por ello que deseamos pueda en Venezuela darse espacio para el entendimiento y el diálogo, donde sean estos las razones para que los distintos actores promuevan soluciones en beneficio de todos y todas.
25 de octubre de 2016
Que: Reunión del Comité Regional para los miembros de la Región de American
Cuando: 17-20 Noviember 2016
Donde: Santiago, Chile
Edad: 18-35 años
Tamaño: 2 participantes por organización miembro
Fecha Limite: 21 de October 2016 (23:59 CET)
El Comité American reúne a jóvenes líderes de las organizaciones miembro del Comité Americano de IUSY con el objetivo de fortalecer las organizaciones y su cooperación en la región. Juntos vamos a discutir la actual situación política en la región americana y elaborar estrategias para afrontar nuestros retos.
La Conferencia girara alrededor de la temática: ‘Procesos y desafíos del Socialismo en América”. Algunos de los objetivos de la conferencia serán conocer, analizar y debatir los diferentes hechos recientes en la región. Como el estado de los resultados del referéndum en Colombia, las destitución de Dilma en Brasil, las recientes incidentes en Paraguay, la escalada de violencia en México entre muchos. Debido a todos estos acontecimientos y el desarrollo general de la región en el Comité Americano de IUSY creemos que ahora es mas importante que nunca discutir sobre los valores socialistas y social-democráticos en la región.
“Procesos y desafíos del Socialismo en América”
El Programa tendrá lugar durante dos días, el viernes 11 y el sábado 12. Un borrador del programa sera enviado antes del inicio de la actividad.
Perfil de Participantes
Cada organización miembro en la región puede inscribir hasta 2 participantes para el evento.
Tengan en cuenta que las delegaciones deben tener equilibrio de género, una delegación no puede consistir de dos hombres. Los participantes deben ostentar una posición de liderazgo dentro de la organización, las organización deberán aprobar las inscripciones.
Los participantes deben ser capaces de poder atender la duración total de seminario. Todos los participantes deben tener una edad comprendida entre 18-35 años, sin excepciones. Las organizaciones de IUSY que tengan una deuda o no hayan pagado su cuota de membresía del 2016 (sin acuerdo previo con la Comisión de Control) no tienen acceso al reembolso.
Los participantes deben inscribirse completado el formulario digital antes del 21 de Octubre a las 23:59 CET.
The International Union of Socialist Youth expresses the full support for the continuation of the peace process in Colombia. The world is waiting for the successful completion of one of the most relevant peace processes in history.
We must regrettably point out that though IUSY has supported the peace process in Colombia, the referendum held on October 2nd led to a majority in favour of the denial of the agreement, an agreement that aimed to end the conflict and to build a stable and lasting peace.
However, this does not mean the end of the peace process. This is just an opportunity to continue with greater will and greater participation. For this reason IUSY calls for all Colombians to join forces to achieve peace, a peace that will bring development to the country and that is certainly a historic moment for the whole world.
Unfortunately, the turnout of the referendum was staggeringly low. IUSY calls Colombians on realizing that the future development of their country is in their hands and it hopes to see further steps forward in the peace process, in order to leave behind a conflict that has lasted more than 50 years and has claimed more than 8 million victims.
Finally, IUSY calls for all the people who have casted an affirmative or negative vote (49.78% and 50.21% of voters, respectively), and even for those who have abstained (62.6% of the whole population) that this is the time for further involvement and to joining efforts in building a stable and lasting peace.
IUSY SUPPORTS THE CONTINUATION OF THE PEACE PROCESS ON COLOMBIA. WE WILL CONTINUE OUR STRUGGLE TOWARDS THIS GOAL.
ALL OVER THE WORLD TO CHANGE IT
What: Regional meeting for members of the Asia-Pacific Region
When: 10-13th November 2016
Where: Delhi, India
Age: 18-35 years
Size: 2 participants per member organisation
Deadline: Wednesday 12 October 2016 (23:59 CET)
Asia Pacific Is home to nearly 60% of the world’s population, it’s also one of the fastest growing regions in the world, that on itself creates certain issues that if not addressed or lacking the necessary structures to sustainably maintain some standards of living as well as a strong political education in order to enable the population to identify the root causes of those issues and ‘walk’ towards possible solutions rather than reproducing the same reality for future generations.
The region also (understandably) holds over 60% of the young people in the world hence the youth issues that other regions are experiencing are magnified here.
“Decent pay, decent work for a decent life for Asia Pacific Youth”
The programme will take place over two days on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th November. A draft programme will be sent out in advance of the event.
Each member organisation in the region may register up to two participants for the meeting. Please note that delegations must be gender-balanced and a delegation cannot consist of two men. Participants must hold a leadership position in their organisation and organisations will need to approve all applications.
Participants must be able to attend the entire programme of the seminar. All participants must be aged 18-35 years old, with no exceptions. IUSY organisations that have a membership debt and/or haven’t paid their 2016 membership fee (without an agreement with the Control Commission) are not eligible for reimbursement.
How to apply
Participants must apply by completing the digital registration form by Wednesday 12th October 2016 at 23:59 CET.
The Mediterranean Committee Leadership Conference ’16 took place last week in Athens, Greece. In the programme we had the opportunity to discuss important issues such as the difference conflicts active in the region, the refugee crisis and its consequences not only in the region but also in Europe.
We also had the chance to discuss on the relation between Feminism and Socialism followed by the Women’s Role in the Middle East. There was also time for debating on the current economic crisis that so many countries are going through.
All this issues and more are reflected in the statement released by the committee, check it out!
MC’16 – The current situation in the region
IUSY is concerned about the escalation of human rights violations in Turkey after the coup attempt in July. We strongly believe that there are fundamental rights that should never be infringed upon. Accordingly IUSY condemns the absence of due process (legal procedure of arresting a person), arbitrary arrests and collective punishments. IUSY expresses its proximity to its two Member Organizations present in the area, CHP youth and HDP youth, whose members have been subject to arbitrary violence and persecution. We stand in solidarity by our friends and comrades of CHP Youth and HDP Youth in their battle for social justice and democracy, and we will use all peaceful measures in our hands to protect their basic democratic rights in compliance with fundamental principles of international law.
IUSY stresses its ongoing support for the Kurdish cause and the right of the Kurdish people for self-determination. We view some rights as fundamental and indispensable, primarily freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of movement or even expressing their collective rights that are given to minorities. We commend the struggle of the Kurdish people against extremists and call the international community to take serious measures in order to assist them. We especially condemn the treatment of Kurdish political prisoners, which has amounted on several occasions to enforced disappearance.
IUSY continues to strongly support the right of Western Sahara people to freedom and self-determination. IUSY strongly condemns the Moroccan violation of the seize-fire at Gargarat area and we urge the UN to decide on a date for a referendum, which would determine the fate of the Sahrawian people. We are calling the international community and the UN Security Council to take concrete measures to prevent any escalation of violence. We call both sides to refrain of the use of force and utilize diplomatic and peaceful methods to prevent any additional crisis.
IUSY affirm it’s fully support for the Palestinian peaceful struggle towards freedom and the right of the Palestinian people for self-determination and their struggle for independence. We support the peace camp in both sides and their efforts to contribute to the realization of the two states solution based on the 1967 borders. IUSY believes that the only way to achieve a long lasting peace is through non-violent ways. We also call for immediate release of Fatah youth movement members who are currently on an ongoing hunger strike and are in severe health condition and all the Palestinian political prisoners. We call the international community to support the Palestinian international diplomatic steps.
As Under the current situation in the MENA region thousands of children women youths and elderly people crossing the Mediterranean Sea escaping from violence, wars economic crisis and extremism grows, and the way they need to pass on the way to a safe life becomes even more dangerous, we demand the international community to support those people in their struggle against the extreme violence and the dictators in their countries. IUSY calls the EU to take direct measures and to adopt policies and regulations, which guarantee stable life for all the people who are fleeing to Europe, seeking for security peace and dignity. We believe that the policy of the close borders will never achieve security or stability, cooperation and just policies are the only way to solve this humanitarian crisis.
It’s our responsibility all as social democrat youth in the middle east to struggle for building societies based on our principles and values in the different fields. Therefore, struggling for more environmental policies, strengthening of the social democratic economies, equality, solidarity and freedom should be always in the top of our priorities all of us to work hand in hand for better region and better world.
IUSY looks with concern at the increased militarization in the Middle East and North Africa and its detrimental repercussions on the stability of the region. We should always remember the price that was paid in order to effectuate the UN charter. Accordingly, we stress the need to refrain from the use or the threat of the use of force, in compliance with the Charter. We progressively observe how the abuse of the ultimate power at the disposal of certain nations in the Security Council has contributed to the aforementioned end. We view a need for reform in compliance with standards of social democracy and the principle of equality of nations.
Prevalent gender stereotypes increase the vulnerability of women worldwide; accordingly, women are disproportionately affected in times of war and conflicts. We commend ongoing efforts to protect women from violence and sexual abuse within the umbrella of the “women, peace and security” agenda, starting with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325. We also believe that in order to effectuate it, the big bulk of effort should be concentrated on regional implementation mechanisms in view of the sensitivity of perceptions of infringement of State sovereignty and in light of the different dynamics that inform the process. Nonetheless, the IUSY stresses that this does not by any means suggest that we view that equality of women has been achieved, and encourage individual countries and regional mechanisms to advance this end. It is worth to mention that the feminist struggle is one of many other struggles and accordingly, the IUSY reiterates its support to other struggles including but not limited to LGBTQ struggle and the struggle against racial discrimination.
The Balkan Round Table (BRT) Leadership Conference 2016 brought together ten IUSY member organisations from the region at the end of July, hosted by DPSMYC Montenegro in Podgorica. During this conference we had the chance to update each other on the different issues that each country/organisation is facing and also strengthen our cooperation in the Balkans.
Find below the statement, outcome of the BRT Leadership Conference 2016.
BRT 2016 Statement on the strengthening of the region
In 2016, the Balkan Region is undergoing major and critical changes that are reshaping our region and our countries future.
We as International Union of Socialist Youth, strongly support and encourage the inclusion of the young politicians and the youngsters of each country, in this important phase of decision making the Balkan countries are taking towards European standards and integration.
The youth of the Balkans, deserve a brighter future, prosperous economy, with no political or ethnic conflict, where the rule of law is strong and where governments are responsive and responsible for their citizens problems.
Right wing extremism in Europe is creating new ways of infiltrating our life and politics by disguising it as center directed right wing party or sometimes even left. But once the curtains wear off, we then see the background and true interests of people behind them.
The increase of terrorism in the world and consequently the endorsing fear in the population is one of the main points on the agenda for the terrorists themselves and also of course for the right wing parties that are abusing the current situations in Europe to increase their power. “Power to the people” is the main foundation of Social Democracy, that’s why we need to find new efficient ways of battling the increase of right wing movements.
Firstly, we as social democrats should return to our roots. That is communicating with people, publicly fighting for their rights and heading towards public good. We must redirect our speech and actions towards the poorest people living without social and health care, living in most distant areas without infrastructure (no internet) and with harmed education systems. They are the ones that need the most help, and also the ones that will value our fight the most. We must not sympathize with any exclusion, racist or/and xenophobic speech. Not from right-wingers and especially not from left-wingers. We are a mirror of ourselves, and we are the ones that promote the acceptance of differences, diverse communities and inclusion. Let’s keep it this way. as we all know, the best way to get to people is by actually doing so. Meaning we should go out to the public with/as activists and talk to people in ghettos, harmed locations, and everywhere else. We need to promote our views to others, and of course best way to do that is by engaging with them. Social Democracy is a word that describes cooperation between people, and we are here to span it’s values.
Education is the most important tool you give young people to be prepared for the challenges of the future. We as IUSY Balkan organizations stand for universal free education for all sectors of the society, since only by allowing everyone equal access to quality education; individuals are able to pursue their respectable careers in an effective manner. We also strongly advocate for paying special attention to the groups that can be easily discriminated in the today’s society and allowing everyone to pursue their dreams freely, regardless of gender, race and religion.
We strongly recommend our governments to reform our educational system in a way that gives young people the possibility to get a job in the future. It is important to strengthen vocational education and to train our citizens throughout their life. We should find new ways of cooperation between us to pressure our governments and universities to benefit more from EU projects such as ERASMUS or HORIZON 2020. Furthermore, one of the biggest concerns for many new students is being able to afford housing while studying and having good infrastructural conditions. By adopting these ideas we believe it would benefit everyone, not only the students or young people, but it would result in a better and more productive society for all
Youth unemployment is one of the most important issues our countries are facing and this is something that not only affects the present but also the future of our economies and lives. All around the Balkan the youth struggles to find a job. The average unemployment rate for young people is higher compared to other ages, in the Balkan Region it varys from 17% to 53%.
To solve the unemployment problem we must start from the roots all the way up to the leaves.
First of all, we as a social-democratic organizations should advocate for a better guidance in youth career. We recommend member organizations to urge their governments for the creation of career-orientation offices for youth who will start their journey into the labor market.
We recommend member organizations to implement policies that encourage youth entrepreneurship. We also suggest a re-distribution of the budget so there can be more opportunities for youth start-ups.
Furthermore, we strongly recommend vocational trainings for all upcoming students. We urge the governments to implement curricula which is more skill-based and provide more experience for the upcoming students in the labor market. We also encourage the creation of national internship programs. We suggest the implementation of youth guarantee beyond borders.
We as IUSY members strongly support integration of the Balkan countries towards the European Union.
That being said, we have to ensure regional stability and improve regional cooperation.
IUSY stands for strong social policy therefore current policies could be improved on a regional level in a cooperative manner.
So far, Regional Youth Cooperation Office was established, but still it is necessary to provide better scope and by that including Slovenia and Croatia.
We have a say as one that is why we all support the work that each organizations are doing in their own countries.
Bulgaria is one of the countries from the Balkan region with the lowest standards of living, biggest youth migration and big depopulation of many of its cities and villages. Corruption and the presence of organized crime representatives (prime minister of Bulgaria – Boyko Borissov is a well known member of the organized crime structures in the 1990s) in state power is obvious, even the French Ambassador in Bulgaria says this in a TV interview on 30th July 2016.
We, IUSY Balkan members, support our comrades from Bulgaria in their fight for freeing the country from criminals in state structure and taking decisive steps to reform the judicial system and prosecutor’s office according to EU recommendations and following the good example of Romania’s National Anti Corruption Agency.
IUSY supports the struggle of Social Democratic Union, Social Democratic Youth and the Civil Society in Macedonia on their fight for democracy and against the totalitarian regime of Nikola Gruevski and VMRO-DPMNE. We encourage all the political actors in Macedonia to fully implement the upgrade of Przino Agreement to guarantee that the upcoming Macedonian elections on December are free and fair.
On the 21st of July, Albania made history by approving unanimously and with consensus the reform of the justice system. Political leaders have shown responsibility and strong democratic values by voting to create a new independent, fair and free judicial system, a reform in complete coherence with the Venice Commission recommendations.
It is with great optimism for the future of the country and for the Albanian youth, that IUSY and the young politicians of the Balkan region, salute the new judicial reform, and its consensual approval, which will open a new chapter for the European Integration of Albania. We feel that political parties should always come together when they are passing critical and important policies that will affect the lives of their citizens. Political dialog, consensus, constructive cooperation is always better than separation and political war. This spirit of leadership is necessity for our countries in the critical steps needed to be undertaken on their path towards a better life. We, IUSY will always support political actions that respect the principle that people’s interest always comes before party interests.
We, the Balkan youth organizations, feel the necessity to continue on strengthening our cooperation. During the Balkan Round Table 2016 in Podgorica, Montenegro we agreed to organize more joint activities, in promoting regional cooperation, unity, and social democratic values.