Executive Committee in Santo Domingo, 2015

Resolutions adopted at the 2015 Executive Committee

13th – 15th November, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

And reaffirmed at the 39th General Assembly, 14th – 17th April 2016, Istanbul, Turkey

Resolution 1: Integrating non-formal education in school

Presented by the Liberal Cooperation Project (Future Youth, 3H and NUV)

Considering that:

  • Formal education monitors and assesses the students’ progress with grading. And that it is recognized by certificates and diplomas. Further that formal education adapts slowly to the socio-economic changes.
  • Non-formal education emphasizes an interactive approach to teaching, and that the students themselves take an active role in their own learning.
  • Non-formal education is a way of building bridges through intercultural learning in a multicultural society.

Recognizing that:

  • People learn in different ways, hence schools should emphasize having different types of education available.
  • Formal education is inn excess based on “one-way” education, which does not encourage critical thinking and active partaking in learning.
  • There is low consideration for the students’ needs, and that learning aims are only achieved through teaching the curriculum.

Believing that:

  • Education in most countries needs reform to create a better atmosphere for learning.
  • The greatest issue in a formal education system is the lack of engagement of the students, which leads to decrease of interest, lowered feeling of mastery, and high dropout rates.
  • A greater use of Non-formal Education, by combining it with Formal, will benefit students whom learn through practical techniques.
  • The society benefits from Non-formal Education through creating interactions between separate groupings, social classes and students from different backgrounds.
  • More interactions will benefit areas where conflicts are visible in the communities, and where this conflict is a hinder for communication between youth from different sides

IFLRY calls for:

  • Implementation of more non-formal education in school, to ensure a diverse way of learning which benefits all students.
  • Governments to establish capacity-building courses for teachers and trainers to integrate more non-formal education methods in schools, and to start promoting collaboration between NGOs who work on non-formal education, and schools.
  • Activities like peer to peer education, field trips, community projects to be a part of school curriculum, furthermore to expand on the civic education for the students
  • Students to have a way of evaluating teachers and the curriculum through forms to create a better dialogue between the students and the school.

 

Resolution 2: Resolution to combat tax avoidance and tax evasion among foreign investor in developing countries

Submitted by Svensk Ungdom – Swedish Youth of Finland

Noting that:
  • The subject of tax avoidance and tax evasion in developing countries needs to be addressed as the United Nations has initiated the work on the Post-2015 development agenda.
  • The United Nations 2030 development agenda addresses economic growth in developing countries with their sustainable development goal nr 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
  • To ensure the successful implementation for the development goal, states need to demand accountability and transparency from investors that operate in developing countries.

Considering that:

  • As tax revenue loss undermines development opportunities it is important to make sure that increased business opportunities for foreign investors in developing countries do not harm the local economy, e.g. by means of tax avoidance and evasion.
  • Trade with and investments in developing economies should be encouraged and bring mutual benefit, but it should also be based on good and lawful practices.
  • Aggressive tax avoidance or tax evasion by foreign investors does not set a good example for developing economies trying to establish a stable internal revenue service.
  • In order to promote good and lawful practices in developing economies foreign investors need to show integrity and transparency.
  • In a recent study published by UNCTAD* the financial losses to developing countries caused by tax avoidance and evasion are estimated to be hundreds of billions of dollars. Africa received special mention as foreign affiliates contribute a high percentage to the government budget, which adds to their power to influence the economy.
  • As Aid for Trade grows more important as a means to develop markets and increase tax revenue of developing countries, it is the responsibility of every state to ascertain that their development effort is not undermined by tax avoidance and evasion.

Believing that:

  • Tax avoidance and tax evasion limit the capacity of developing countries to raise money and implement their economic and social policies.
  • Therefore stakeholders should practice and promote sustainable economic development to the benefit of both stakeholders and recipients, by demanding accountability and transparency from investors operating in developing countries

IFLRY:

  • call for states to demand accountability and transparency of investors operating in developing countries, by:
  • call for foreign investors to provide country by country reporting (CBCR).
  • call for country-by-country reporting would require each investor to provide the state the following information:
    1. The name of each country where it operates.
    2.  The names of all its subsidiaries and affiliates in these countries.
    3. The performance of each subsidiary and affiliate, without exception.
    4. The tax charge in its accounts of each subsidiary and affiliate in each country.
    5. Details of the cost and net book value of its fixed assets in each country.
    6. Details of its gross and net assets for each country.
  • call for CBCR to be required of all foreign investors. CBCR should be mandatory especially if the investors are fully or partially state-owned or state-financed. In this case the report should also include data which can be used to evaluate the impact of the investments on the economy as well as the overall development impact.
  • call for governments and foreign investors to openly share financial statements with civil society institutions and organisations. This should strike a fair balance between the public interest in tax justice and the investor`s interest in protecting critical trade secrets.
  • in case the above mentioned practises or legislation exist in some states, IFLRY call for the governments to enforce them.

Resolution 3: Legalize it! Legalizing Marijuana as an Important Step Towards More Sensitive, Modern-Day Drug Policies

Submitted by Junge Liberale (JuLis) from Germany

Considering:

  • The vast amount of especially young people that are charged for possessing or consuming illegal substances and therefore face a criminal record (or worse) that severely impacts their future life chances.
  • The costs of the so-called “War on Drugs”.
  • The impact of failed drug policies especially in Central and South America, such as the formation of powerful drug cartels, unparalleled violence, and widespread bribery.
  • The unscientific justification of the current categorization of “hard drugs”, “soft drugs”, and actually commercially available drugs such as alcohol, tobacco, etc.

Acknowledging:

  • IFLRY’s commitment to a holistic understanding of self-determination and civil liberties — and their importance on human flourishing.
  • The change of public opinion on the prohibition of marijuana — reflected in e.g. the 2015 Federal Election in Canada or the state elections on this particular issue in the United States (see Colorado or Washington).
  • The similarities between current drug policies and “The Noble Experiment” in the United States in the 1920, which created comparable problems (violence, black markets, criminalization) and was ultimately abandoned.

The International Federation of Liberal Youth (IFLRY) calls for:

  • A centrally planned and executed “Legalize It”-campaign by IFLRY.
  • The preparation (led by the IFLRY board) of an amendment to IFLRY’s manifesto on the importance of modern-day drug policies.
  • A call to all IFLRY member organizations to advocate for the legalization or decriminalization of so-called “soft drugs” within their organizations, mother parties, and countries.
  • The change of the United Nations drug control regime (e.g. the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) in order to avoid a clash between international law and changing domestic legislation on marijuana, facilitate the legalization of marijuana and shift the focus from prohibition towards prevention.

 

Resolution 4: Resolution on the Presidential Election in Belarus

Submitted by LUF, Sweden

On the 11th of October 2015 a presidential election was held in Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko who has been in office since 1994, won the election and will continue to rule the country. Let there be no doubt that this was not a fair election. The government of Belarus is an authoritarian regime that is massively violating human rights in terms of restricting media, pursuing the opposition and more.

Ahead of the election some of the main oppositional politicians was prevented to candidate. During the elections, massive frauds were committed in a non-transparent counting and election observers point to the fact that this was indeed a rigged election, there were never any doubt about who was going to win and the winner was in fact decided long before the ”election” took place.

Considering this we urge IFLRY to:

  • Condemn the lack of transparency in the counting of votes
  • Consider the results illegitimate and not representative of the people of Belarus
  • Urge the European Union not to ease sanctions on the Belarusian government

 

Resolution 5: Time to save lives

Presented by LUF from Sweden

Acknowledging that:

  • At the same, the root of the problems, the wars and unstable situations is not looking to get better and the number of people leaving their countries of origin are not becoming fewer.
  • The refugee camps are growing and the situation is worsening, the few countries that has done the most are reporting that they no longer have the capacity to help more people and UNHCR is reporting that they no longer have the finances to feed everybody living in their camps.
  • It is at these moments in history that our humanity is being tested and so far The International community as a whole has failed substantially. Most refugees are in their neighboring countries who has taken a responsibility far beyond what most would deem possible. Every fourth person in Lebanon is now a Syrian refugee, Jordan has received way above a million refugees and the same goes with Turkey and a few others. At the same time, most countries in the world are doing close to nothing in order to save those fleeing and many times the discussions are about how to stop refugees rather than the contrary.
  • The world is right now experiencing the largest refugee crisis since WWII, more than 60 million people has been forced to leave their homes due to war, dictatorship and poverty. Most notably from Middle Eastern countries such as Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. People are leaving their homes, not just in the pursuit of a better life but simply to survive.

Considering the above:

  • We ask IFLRY member organizations to urge their governments to take responsibility in accepting refugees.
  • We ask IFLRY member organizations to urge their governments and/or mother parties to raise their financial support to UNHCR if possible.
  • We urge IFLRY to demand of the United Nation to allocate more resources to UNHCR and the helping of refugees.
  • We urge IFLRY to work towards an international policy in order to handle the crisis

 

Resolution 6: For a Free Venezuela

Submitted by the IFLRY Bureau, the Latin America and Human Rights Programmes

Appalled by:

  • The abuse of authority by President Nicolás Maduro, resulted in the systematic violation of human rights through repression, torture and imprisonment, and evidenced in the violation of the right to freedom of assembly, freedom of expression, among others;
  • The persecution to opposition leaders as María Corina Machado, leader of Vente Venezuela, who was illegally expelled from the Venezuelan National Assembly and has been accused of treason and other crimes, without any evidence;
  • The absence of independent and impartial judiciary; reflected in the unjust and illegal detention of leaders and citizens as Leopoldo López, Antonio Ledezma and Daniel Ceballos, among others;
  • The intimidation of journalists by verbal and physical attacks and the seizing of equipment;
  • The high level of corruption leaving the Venezuelans with a lack of resources and access to education, basic services and medical care; experiencing a serious economic, political and social crisis translated into a shortage of food and medicine, with the highest inflation around the world;
  • The absence of rule of law, clearly evident in an institutional crisis with the destruction of basic institutions that any country should have;

Alarmed by:

  • The misunderstanding of international organizations such as the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the CCPR/C/VEN/4 report where the human rights developments are evaluated positively;
  • The continuing reports by INGO’s about the vulnerability of the electoral system, translated into a lack of confidence in the Electoral Branch, in the inviolability of the secrecy of the vote, in the manipulation of voter registration and voting machines and, in general, the automation of the entire process, with the real possibility of a fraud in the legislative elections of next December;

Acknowledging that:

  • Vente Venezuela and its youth, Vente Joven, have raised the banner of the ideas of freedom
  • the Venezuelan opposition and its youth have been in constant struggle against the regime that for 17 years has governed their country;
  • Venezuela is an important actor in Latin America, and what happens there affects the entire region and the future of democracy and freedom;
  • Venezuela is close to a humanitarian crisis that will only bring more misery and hunger if is not urgently resolved through deep reforms in an environment of economic and political freedom;
  • and has undertaken a genuine struggle for the conquest of freedom and democracy, with citizens and other political movements and parties;
  • The upcoming electoral process is central to the rescue of democracy in that country and requires the attention of the world, with an international observation qualified, fair and transparent;
  • Respect for human rights, rule of law and freedom are fundamental for the progress and development of the countries.

Believing that:

  • As a Federation, we are committed to expressing solidarity with abuses of totalitarian governments and dictatorships, such as Venezuela is living today, and should fight for liberal

Calls upon:

  • The IFLRY Latin America Programme to keep a close eye on the evolvement of the situation in Venezuela and take appropriate action as the situation requires, especially by informing and answering to the IFLRY membership;
  • The IFLRY Human Rights Programme to speak out against and raise awareness on the issue at the appropriate international organizations, via Liberal International and the UN ECOSOC;
  • All IFLRY member organizations to organize a global campaign in support of the Venezuelan human rights activists, by raising awareness and addressing national and international politicians from their respective mother parties;
  • The IFLRY membership to accompany the Venezuelan people that are fighting to regain their freedom and democracy, expressing our solidarity and commitment to their mission.
  • The international community, including the United Nations (UN), the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Mercado Común del Sur (MERCOSUR) to join the efforts of IFLRY about the situation in Venezuela.