The 20th assembly of the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY) concluded in Nicosia, Cyprus on December 6, with the slogan “Forward the future! Until we have built the world we have dreamed of and fought for!” The four-day conference began on December 3, and was hosted by the Cypriotic communist youth group, the United Democratic Youth Organisation (EDON). The gathering was attended by delegates from 93 progressive youth movements from more than 50 countries across the world.
On December 2, before the opening of the conference, delegates of the 20th Assembly paid tribute to the four heroes of the Anti-Fascist Resistance in the neighborhood of Ayi Yianni, who were killed during the fascist coup in Cyprus in 1974. On December 3, a solidarity event with the people of Cyprus was organized.
Representatives of various fraternal organizations addressed the assembly at its opening session, extending their solidarity and support. These included the vice-president of the World Trade Unions Federation, Pampis Kyritsis, executive secretary of the World Peace Council, Iraklis Tsavdaridis, Cyprus’ minister of foreign affairs, Nicos Christodoulides, and vice-president of the Women’s International Democratic Federation, Skevi Koukouma, among others.
Various resolutions were also passed at the conference, including on imperialist interventions, employment and education, discrimination and social inequality, and environment and climate change. Resolutions were also passed on on fascism, ultra-right fundamentalism, and for the promotion of peace, freedom and human rights.
In its joint political declaration, the necessity of intensifying the struggle for solidarity, justice, democracy and the rights of youth was emphasized. The declaration also called for the strengthening of the struggle against imperialism – the highest stage of capitalism – in all its expressions, including foreign occupations, invasions, fascism, nationalism, racism, xenophobia and exploitation.
The conference elected Aritz Rodriguez of the Communist Youth Union of Spain (UJCE) as the new president of the WFDY, and Yusdaquy Larduet of the Young Communist League (UJC) of Cuba as its general secretary. The three vice-presidencies will be held by representatives of the Union of the Democratic Youth of Lebanon, the Youth Federation of Nepal and the SWAPO Party Youth League from Namibia.
Speaking to Peoples Dispatch, Aritz Rodríguez expressed confidence that the political document and resolutions approved by the assembly, and the unity it helped strengthen, would aid the organizations in achieving their goals. He said that in the coming years, the federation and its member organizations would focus on the impact of imperialism on the youth, the fight against racial and sexual discrimination, the access of youth to employment and education, the impact of climate change and the battle against fascism.
“It is really important that the youth worldwide joins the fight against imperialism so as to intensify the effort and answer to it with unity. The offensive of imperialism requires a joint answer. Only thus can we achieve lasting peace and obtain a decent life for youth worldwide,” he added.
The WFDY was formed on November 10, 1945, at the World Youth Conference organized in London. The conference was convened at the initiative of the World Youth Council, which was formed during World War II as an anti-fascist, pro-peace and anti-nuclear war platform. In this context, the WFDY emerged as an expression of friendship and solidarity between the youth of the capitalist and the socialist nations.