The Guardian 30 November, 2005

World Federation of Democratic Youth:
Sixty years in service of youth rights


On November 10, 1945 the World Youth Conference, organised in London, founded WFDY. This historic Conference was convened at the initiative of the World Youth Council which was formed during the Second World War by the youth of the allied countries to fight against fascism. It brought together for the first time in the history of the international youth movement representatives of more than 30 million young people of different political ideologies and religious beliefs from 63 nations.

Today WFDY unites young people from more than 160 organisations and more than 100 countries in an anti-imperialist, progressive, democratic and massive international youth federation.

As part of the celebrations of these 60 years, WFDY published a special edition of the World Youth (historical magazine of WFDY that has not been printed for 15 years) and it is going to prepare a brochure about its history. It is also going to publish material on the outcomes of the recent 16th World Festival of Youth and Students in different languages held in Venezuela. A DVD on WFDYs activities will be produced with support from UNESCO.

"WFDY has continued to struggle over the years for the noble ideals of human liberation from all kinds of oppression, discrimination and imperialist domination", WFDY said in a statement on the anniversary.

"WFDY is committed to stand for and fight for the rights of youth and to fulfil the dreams and aspirations of the youth of the world. WFDY is proud of what it has achieved over the years", the statement said.

"We are committed to and struggle for a world of peace, free from nuclear weapons; for a different socio-economic system that holds the human being as a centre and main maker, a system based on social justice, national sovereignty, independence, self-determination, democracy, security, international solidarity and cooperation.

"We demand respect for and call for the defence of human rights, womens rights, sexual and reproductive rights, sustainable development and the environment. We demand that everyone should have access to employment, labour rights, education, health care, sports, culture and technology."

"We call upon the world youth and students to rally around the progressive and anti-imperialist Youth Organisations and around WFDY. We call upon them to strengthen the anti-imperialist unity for the common needs, rights and aspirations. To join the struggle, which WFDY started in November 1945, with the commitment not to give up, until the final victory. And it will be ours!"J

In 1945 the WFDY adopted a pledge for peace that remains entirely valid after 60 years:

"We pledge that we shall remember this unity, forged in this month, November 1945,

Not only today, not only this week, this year, but always,
Until we have built the world we have dreamed of and fought for.
We pledge ourselves to build the unity of youth of the world.
All races, all colours, all nationalities, all beliefs,
To eliminate all traces of fascism from the earth,
To build a deep and sincere international friendship among the peoples of the world,
To keep a just lasting peace,
To eliminate want, frustration and enforced idleness.

We have come to confirm the unity of all youth salute our comrades who have died and pledge our word that skilful hands, keen brains and young enthusiasm shall never more be wasted in war."

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