Urgent call to action against looming famine in parts of Africa and Yemen

According to its report on 21 February 2017, UNICEF confirmed that almost 1.4 million children are at imminent risk of death from severe acute malnutrition this year, as famine looms in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen.

Why are there still famines in parts of the world in the 21st century?  What can be done about it?

The pronouncement of famine in these countries must serve as a wake-up call to all leaders of the developing world, particularly African leaders, to improve on their agricultural sectors to ensure food security for citizens.

The sheer scale and severity of the food insecurity on the African continent and in other parts of the world such as Yemen requires a much stronger response than has been the norm, and the political commitment of world leaders in halting its spread.

In Africa, poverty is undoubtedly the most fundamental cause of famine.

The failure of governments to address issues of chronic poverty has become the perpetual bane of development on the African continent and other parts of the world.

The effects of climate change further pose severe risks to the economies of developing countries, particularly those in Africa.

It is therefore imperative that there is a swift and continuous response on the part of the international community of nations to address issues of carbon emissions and improving environmental protection laws.

African governments cannot fail to notice the need for long-term planning that guarantees a high level of food security in their respective countries.

Prioritization of food security through improved agricultural production and access to food products must not be compromised.

It must be high on the agenda of the African Union and its member countries.

It is equally important to point out the fact that protracted conflicts within States have largely contributed to the ailing economic crisis leading to these famines, such is the case in Yemen and the conflict-prone nations in Africa.

Although there has been much rhetoric on the need to end conflicts in States like South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen and Syria, substantial progress has not been made in terms of peace building and humanitarian assistance within these states.

These conditions leave much to be desired of the efforts of international organizations such as the United Nations Security Council and other international agencies and governments whose actions and inactions contributed to the current conflict situations.

As IUSY calls for a cure to the root causes of famine on the African continent and the Arab League, the world must not be too slow to act to mitigate the effects of prevailing circumstances.

We therefore call on the international community for emergency aid to the affected countries for the protection of human lives.

We further call on the African Union and all other sub regional organizations to strengthen cooperation and support to neighboring countries on the brink of famine to ensure that this imminent crisis is averted.

As a people of common purpose, we have a looming crisis on our hands and IUSY calls for urgent international support of aid agencies and governments to save the lives of persons at risk of death as a result of this predicament.

Food security must be considered a key to ensuring the fundamental right to life of all humans and this underlines our values of solidarity and equality for all.

Trump’s ban: discriminatory, hypocritical and irresponsible

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“I express my deepest disgust and regret on the Trump ban of citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen”, said Howard Lee, president of International Union of Socialist Youth, DAPSY International Secretary and Perak State Legislative Assemblyperson, Pasir Pinji.

Banning anyone from any country is as bad, if not worse, than a “Muslim ban”. Saying that someone is a potential terrorist solely on the basis of his/her nationality, and, more so, religion, is the highest degree of discrimination. Religion is a choice, but there is no choice in where one is born. Where will it end? Belgium has the highest ISIS recruit per capita in the world: is President Trump going to ban Belgians from entering in the U.S.A.? My own country, Malaysia, is a Muslim-majority nation, which many consider as a hotbed with perfect conditions for IS operatives to be recruited and based. When is Malaysia’s turn to enter the ban list?

The criteria cited for the policy on who gets ban is also the highest degree of hypocrisy. They are, according to the Trump executive order, those who “place violent ideologies over American law”, “engage in acts of bigotry or hatred” or “would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation”. Just replace the word Americans in any of those points with any of the seven nationalities facing the ban and it will become too easy to call the ban hypocrisy.

One common denominator among all seven nations facing the ban is that the U.S.A. have been a significant part of, if not led military actions on them. How can the U.S.A. strike a nation militarily and do not be prepared to admit it victimised and war-torn citizens as refugees, and, furthermore, ban them? This is bad enough. Someone would consider the intent of the U.S.A. military action on those banned nations as a reason for the ban, but it would be just hypocritical.

Democracy is about accountability to the people. The U.S.A. who have, on many occasions in history, taken up the mantle of being the leader of the free world must also be responsible and accountable to the people of the world. By betraying the spirit of founding fathers of the U.S.A., President Trump has not only been irresponsible to the world, he has been irresponsible to democracy, liberty, constitutional rights, and, essentially, America and the American people.

I just would like to quote the first president of U.S.A., George Washington, when he said: “The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respected Stranger but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations and Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges“. And again: “I had always hoped that this land might become a safe and agreeable asylum to the virtuous and persecuted part of mankind, to whatever Nation they might belong”.

Many youths, Progressives, and citizens around the world continue to pledge solidarity and friendship with the American people. We respect the Americans’ right to sovereignty, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to afford respect to the highest political position holder and Commander in Chief of United States of America.

Donald Trump’s hate speech is a threat to the world

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IUSY condemns the expressions of discrimination of the new president of the United States of America, Donald Tump, which represent a setback in the struggles for equality and the union of the peoples of the world. The violence expressed in both his speeches and his proposed policies against immigrant groups, the African American community, the LGBTI community, and women are the doorway to intolerance and hatred.

We – the International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY) – are concerned by such proposed policies that would mean a setback in the hard-won rights, therefore we strongly encourage the unity of the progressive actors against the conservative advance represented by President Trump, and the strong defense of the liberties accomplished. Furthermore, his denial of climate change is also concerning, posing a huge obstacle to the implementation of global agreements to build a world that is environmentally, economically and socially sustainable.

We cannot but condemn Donald Trump’s white supremacist discourse, racism, and passivity in stopping his followers’ hateful actions against various ethnicities in the United States. We firmly believe that a more just and egalitarian world can only be built from tolerance and plurality.
Finally, we are baffled to notice the stands taken by Michael Pence, Vice-President of the United States, against the LGBTI community and against the right of women over their own bodies, as well as his closeness to ultraconservative fractions during his office as Governor of Indiana.

We stand in solidarity with the progressive actors who have demonstrated and fought the rise of the right-wing in the United States, with all the comrades who marched on the Women’s March on January 21, and especially with our YDS colleagues. We call on the progressive organizations of the world to stand together and establish joint actions in light of the role of the United States in the international agenda as one of the global leaders.
Together we will win.

African Committee ’16 Statement on the Region

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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.

AFC-resolution 2016 [en]

American Committee ’16 Statement on the Region [EN & ES]

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!

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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

AC Resolution [en]
Resolución CA [es]

 

 

Bring back Democracy in Turkey now!

IUSY shows its deepest concern about the political and democratic situation in Turkey, strongly condemning the discretionary arrests of the HDP leaders, Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yüksekdag​ and a dozen other opposition MPs in Turkey, asking for their immediate release. We appeal to the elimination of violence in the region and appeal to a non escalation in the conflict. The recent events in the country, with the increasing arrests of journalists, academic people and other individuals related to any kind of opposition to the Turkish Government, are a sign of an ever increasing authoritarian ruling force by the AKP supported Government. We urge Turkey to abide by international law and to respect the rule of Law. The intentions of reinstating the death penalty, the imposed censorship on social media, the repression on free press and the lack of respect for the independence of the judiciary system pose a clear threat to the democratic regime in Turkey and cannot be accepted by the international community. Also, IUSY condemns the terror attack in Diyarbakır, where 9 people were killed in response to these arrests. We remind that violence cannot be an answer and civil war is not an option in Turkey. It is time for the Turkish Government to respect the rules of democracy,​ which includes respecting the rights of the Kurdish people,​ the right of political association and opposition and freedom of speech press and association.​ We demand that the European Union and the international community take a stand on the unlawful arrests of the HDP leaders, to pressure Turkey to comply to the established standards of the rule of law, using all of their normative power through the political, economic, and diplomatic means at their disposal to successfully achieve this important step. The downwards spiral that is leading Turkey from a secular Republic to a religious autocracy must be stopped in the interest of the Turkish people. We call the EU to take notice that as long as Erdogan’s government perpetrates the repression of democracy and human rights targeting its own citizens – Kurds in particular -Turkey is not abiding by the EU accession criteria she was asked to pursue in its long path towards becoming an EU Member State. We call on the European Union to pressure Turkey by temporary freezing the ongoing EU membership negotiations  until democracy and the respect of the rights of all Turkish citizens are re-established.

Political Economy Working Group Workshop Summaries

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In the past Economic Seminar in partnership with Renner Institute and our member organisation SJÖ besides having very interesting discussions we also witnessed the birth of a working group on Political Economy.

You can see below the summaries of the different workshop they ran in the first meeting right after the event.

If you’re interested on the topic and would like to join and contribute please contact Matthias Krainz IUSY VP at matthias.krainz@iusy.org

You can also join the Facebook group > https://www.facebook.com/groups/851664904970530/

EU Economic Polices and the Eurozone

Feminist Economics

How to avoid taxes without really trying – We wish we were only joking

PI summary globalisation and global economic inequalities

IUSY condemns the escalating repression in Ethiopia

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Following the downfall of the previous Ethiopian government in 1991, Ethiopians were eager to have their freedoms back. Beside many failures of good governance, the abolishment of the former regime was rooted by its execution and imprisonment of innocents. However, though Ethiopians have sacrificed their valuable lives expecting justice and freedom, they are not yet able to get what they have been waiting.

The Ethiopians situation is a clear evidence for the notion that the death of the previous dictatorship did not ensure the birth of a democracy that guarantees human rights. Until today Ethiopians are being incarcerated, tortured and killed for crimes they did not commit. Both their human and democratic rights are being violated by government forces for only asking legitimate questions. They are being dismantled from their lands without enough compensation and forced to live under poverty lines.

The systematic marginalization of the largest ethnic groups by the government which is highly dominated by a minority ethnic group is also significantly affecting the lives of millions. The government of Ethiopia is highly characterized by its unfair distribution of wealth, which placed the majority in extreme poverty. It is evidenced by the recent reports of the Ethiopian government itself that since 2016 more than 10 million people are suffering from drought while few segments of the population are taking unfair advantage of the nation’s resources.

Despite all the challenges, Ethiopians did not keep quiet. Since 1991 until today they are firmly standing against the dictatorship that oppressed their rights and killed many. The legitimate demands of the people intensified since November 2015 when the government officially declared to expand the boundaries of the capital city, Addis Ababa into the Oromia region. The reaction of the government towards all the peaceful protestors, however, was highly unprofessional, if not inhuman. Since then people are being killed, detained, and brutally tortured for only standing against a system which excludes them from political and economic development and led the protest to its highest level.

The brutality of the Ethiopian government against its own citizens revealed itself many times. One of the evidence can be the killings of hundreds in October 2016 where more than two million people gathered for the religious festival and government forces opened fire on people who were expressing their grievances by crossing their hands above their head.

The Ethiopian government is not only killing peaceful protestors but also suppressing their voices through blocking the internet in the name of‘‘State of emergency’’ while many activists and journalists are being tortured and jailed for crimes they did not commit. Therefore, Ethiopians these days are not only demanding for political and economic inclusions but also basic human rights. As IUSY we call for respect of human rights and the government must call an all inclusive political dialogues to solve the impasse. History has taught us that violence is not the solution to solving problems.

Statement brought forward by Vice President Bheki Dlamini and supported by the IUSY Presidium.