General Assembly in Thessaloniki, 2017

Resolutions adopted at the 41st General Assembly

1st – 4th June 2017, Thessaloniki, Greece

 

 

Resolution 1: Cyprus Reunification Process

International Conflicts, United Nations, Peace Process, Cyprus, Turkey

Liberala ungdomsförbundet, Svensk Ungdom, Centerpartiets Ungdomsförbund

Noting:

  • The situation in Cyprus, where the northern part has been occupied by Turkish military forces since 1974;
  • That Cyprus is a member of the European Union since 2004;
  • That negotiations for a Turkish membership in the EU have been on-going since 1987 but has been stalled due to infringements on human rights and democratic rights in Turkey;
  • That the UN Secretary General started negotiations on behalf of the UN to solve the problem over twenty years ago;
  • That the first two rounds of negotiations did not result in any progress towards finding a solution;
  • That negotiations started again in May 2015, hosted by United Nations special envoy for Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide, involving Mustafa Akinci and Nikos Anastasiades, to create a federal two-part state without any involvement from a third state;
  • That for the first time in the history of the negotiations, the leaders of both Communities swapped maps indicating the territory of each constituent state if a solution is found;
  • That not only the two communities, but also the guarantors (Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom) sat down at one table in order to initiate the discussion on the chapter of security which is one of the biggest issues on the table;
  • That the negotiations came to a halt in February 2017, which according to the Turkish cypriots was because of a decision by the Greek Cypriot assembly to introduce a school commemoration of a 1950 referendum on unification with Greece;
  • That the Greek Cypriot decision has had negative effects on the current negotiations over the island and has contributed to increased tension between the sides, according to many Turkish cypriots.
  • That Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders were set to meet in April 2017 at the UN-mandated buffer zone on the divided island.

 Considering:

  • That because of the imposed separation and division, a whole generation of Cypriots has not been giving a chance of living together;
  • That ever since the invasion and occupation of the northern part of Cyprus by the Turkish troops, thousands of Turkish settlers have been illegally transferred to Cyprus;
  • That the heated relations between the EU and Turkey due to reforms leading to lesser democratic institutions in Turkey as well as the refugee crisis, has also reflected onto the dialogue on the reconciliation of Cyprus;
  • That the rhetoric used by politicians on the island does not favour a reconciliation of the Greek and Turkish Cypriots and worsens the strained climate between the communities.

 Stating:

  • That all foreign troops must be withdrawn from the island so that reunification of Cyprus could become possible;
  • That all the refugees must be allowed to return to their homes;
  • That the Human Rights of all Cypriot Citizens must be respected and upheld;
  • That everything must be done for the Cyprus problem to be solved peacefully and on the basis of all UN resolutions for a just and viable solution;
  • That politicians on the island have to maintain a language of reciprocal respect.

IFLRY Supports:

  • The renewed efforts of the United Nations special envoy for Cyprus in promoting a solution through direct negotiations between the two sides;
  • The two sides to continue the negotiations for a speedy, just and viable solution.

IFLRY Urges:

  • The two sides to continue the negotiations for a speedy, just and viable solution;
  • The two sides to remain level headed and refrain from pushing through provocative measures that may jeopardize the reunification process.

IFLRY Welcomes:

  • The contacts between IFLRY and the youth organisation Youth of the United Democrats Cyprus as a means to empowering youth in the negotiation process and in party politics on Cyprus;
  • A peaceful, viable and lasting solution to the Cyprus issue will post a vigorous sign to the world that diverse societies, with people from different religions, cultures and backgrounds can live and work together in unity and peace, especially since the region around Cyprus is faced with many tensions and problems.

IFLRY Hopes:

  • To establish further co-operation with this organisation and other liberal political youth organisations;
  • To establish co-operation with young liberals all over Cyprus, who agree on this resolution and who preferably have contacts with one or more of the above mentioned youth organisation in Cyprus;
  • To support youth representatives as participants in the reunification negotiation process and as positive change agents on both sides of the now divided island;
  • To see the negotiations resumed and give full support for the achievement of a peace plan and fair reunification as soon as possible;
  • To advocate for EU member states to make the struggle to reunify Cyprus a top priority on the agenda in the European Union, since for many Cypriots, the full membership of the European Union is the greatest guarantee for both communities.

Resolution 2: Committed to anti-bullying

Presented by Joventut Nacionalista de Catalunya (JNC) –Víctor Solé– and Jonge Democraten (JD) –Laura Neijenhuis–

Considering that:

  • School bullying remains widespread across the world. A recent UNESCO report (School Violence and Bullying: Global Report, January 2017) found particularly high rates of bullying in countries such as the United States of America, Austria, Belgium or South Africa.
  • Bullying has been proven to not only hurt the academic performance of victims —which undermines our future workforce—, but to also affect their mental health and personal development significantly and for long periods.
  • The use of new technologies such as social networks can increase the potential for bullying, with phenomena such as cyber bullying, and pose a new challenge in this area.

Believing that:

  • Teachers and parents should not be left alone in the fight against bullying and cyber bullying. Tackling this challenge depends on a concerted effort from all involved parties, including teachers, but also parents, psychologists, social services, the forces of order, etc.
  • Good practices in the fight against bullying are not always shared as widely and as quickly as they should be. The success of countries such as Canada, Sweden and Italy in tackling bullying has not been replicated in other countries.

IFLRY calls for: Countries to comply with UNESCO’s guidelines in the fight against bullying to 1) raise awareness of the problem throughout society in an empirical and non-sensationalist way; 2) facilitate the exchange of good practices so that countries can learn from one another in tackling bullying; 3) promote the values of diversity and tolerance in the classroom; and 4) support countries in devising and implementing new measures to fight bullying.

 

Resolution 3: Reaffirming the right to decide of the Catalan people and Catalonia´s self determination

Presented by Joventut Nacionalista de Catalunya (JNC) –Víctor Solé– and Jonge Democraten –Laura Neijenhuis–

Considering:

  • That legitimacy of democratic systems and of political institutions is based on political participation;
  • That after 40 years trying to fit Catalonia into Spain in a politically comfortable way, there is a common feeling among most Catalan citizens that Spain is being re-centralized, in a dangerous involution of democratic rights, that multiculturalism is being jeopardised and rejected by the Spanish State, and that the hope of a tolerant and inclusive country, which many hoped would be built after Franco’s regime, seems to fade away and to be practically unreachable;
  • That, in this scenario, to preserve its identity, language, culture, economy, and political self-government, today public opinion in Catalonia favours the celebration of a binding referendum in order for Catalan society to be able to choose its own future freely, peacefully and democratically;

Acknowledging:

  • That the Catalan movement for self-determination is a peaceful, broad, grassroots social movement made of civil society stakeholders. That five huge demonstrations have taken place in the past six years in the streets of Barcelona and all over Catalonia. The first, in 2010, attended by over 1 million people; the second, in 2012, by 1.5 million, making it one of the largest ever to take place in Europe. The third, a human chain crossing Catalonia in September 2013. The fourth was a double demonstration in two of the main avenues of Barcelona. The fifth was a big demonstration in another Barcelona artery, with over 1.5 million people again. The sixth was a series of demonstrations scattered all over the Catalan nation, again with a turnout of more than 1 million. These protests have changed the political landscape in Catalonia and will keep changing it in the upcoming years if there are not  solutions;
  • That, following Catalan elections in November 2012, in March 2013, a resolution calling on the Catalan Government to negotiate with the Spanish Government in order to hold a referendum was supported by 77% of MPs in the Catalan Parliament;
  • That on November 9th, 2014, the Catalan Government, led by President Artur Mas, organised a non-binding consultation which ended up being boycotted by the Spanish State and the status quo parties; a consultation with a turnout of 42% of the voters (2 million people) voting 98% in favour of independence; a consultation that has carried out political persecution towards President Mas and three of his ministers;
  • That on September 27th, 2015, new legislative elections took place in Catalonia, and President Carles Puigdemont took over President Mas’s leadership in order to finish the job, aiming at organising a binding referendum on September 2017;
  • That there are a number of existing legal bases which would allow for a referendum to be held on the political future of Catalonia. The Spanish Government’s rejection of a Catalan referendum is based on political rather than legal motives;

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

  • Democratic principles to be preserved within Spain, allowing Catalan citizens to express their democratic will freely in a referendum on Catalonia’s political future;
  • Recognition that voting in a referendum should stand as best practices in order to resolve territorial political conflicts;
  • The Spanish Government to agree with the Catalan Government on the terms for a referendum of independence in Catalonia following the examples of the Quebec referenda of 1980 and 1995 and the Scottish referendum of 2014;
  • The Catalan Government to implement the result of the referendum, acknowledging its results;
  • The European Union to listen to the Catalan nation and to eventually become a referee in the negotiations of Catalan independence in case this option is the preferred one in the referendum.

Resolution 4 : License to Heal

Submitted by: Jonge Democraten, Jongerenorganisatie Vrijheid en Democratie (JOVD), Joventut Nacionalista de Catalunya (JNC), Radikal Ungdom, Keskustanuoret Spokesperson: Carlijn Olde Reuver of Briel (JD)

Considering that:

  • A third of the world’s population has limited access to essential medicines.
  • Costs of new expensive medicines cause problems of accessibility also in developed countries.
  • The limited accessibility to drugs is partially caused by the current patent system. The system is based on intellectual property laws through patents which last for 20 years. This means the pharmaceutical company has a monopoly position on selling innovative drugs for this period of time.
  • About a quarter of the available drugs are discovered by knowledge institutions such as universities. The government finances medical scientific research, but sets no conditions on the price and accessibility of the discovered medication; leaving pharmaceutical companies free to ask unreasonably high prices.
  • The high prices of drugs threaten patients’ right to treatment, and put health budgets under unsustainable pressure.
  • The UN High Level Panel on Access to Medicines, provides valuable recommendations for governments and international institutions to address inexpedient inconsistencies between public health, medical innovation and the current research investment incentives and legal framework.
  • The UN Human Rights Panel (A/HRC/32/L.23/Rev.1) recognizes access to medicines as a fundamental human right.
  • The European Parliament recently adopted a resolution ((2016/2057(INI)) on how to improve access to medicines in Europe, highlighting numerous areas where member states can take immediate action.

Believing that: 

  • Medicine and other medical products should be accessible to everyone.
  • The human right to health and appropriate medical care is essential in sustaining societies.
  • To achieve affordability and accessibility, all stakeholders in the development of medicine need to take responsibility. Governments should promote affordability as well as innovation regarding the drug development process.
  • It is necessary for countries to collaborate on negotiating with pharmaceutical companies regarding the pricing of innovative drugs to ensure their accessibility and the sustainability of healthcare systems.

Calls upon IFLRY and its MOs to: 

  • Stimulate their government to require research institutions to responsibly license new active pharmaceutical ingredients which are publicly financed, consisting of the following requirements:
  • In high-income countries, the licence-taker must be transparent about the cost structure of the resulting medicine (including public R&D investments, marketing costs, tax rebates etc;) and should hold himself to a limited profit margin.
  • Waive the patents for low and middle-income countries, enabling generic competition in these regions (also known as global access licensing).

This does not change the current patent system.

  • Stimulate collaboration between different countries to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies regarding the pricing of innovative drugs to gain more bargaining power and ensure their accessibility and the sustainability of healthcare systems.

 

Resolution 5 : Strengthen the right to Abortion around the world

Submitted by Liberala Ungdomsförbundet

Noting that:

  • Nearly half of all abortions worldwide are unsafe, and nearly all unsafe abortions (98%) occur in developing countries. In the developing world, 56% of all abortions are unsafe, compared with just 6% in the developed world;
  • The estimated annual number of deaths from unsafe abortion declined from 56,000 in 2003 to 47,000 in 2008. Complications from unsafe abortion accounted for an estimated 13% of all maternal deaths worldwide in both years;
  • Highly restrictive abortion laws are not associated with lower abortion rates. For example, the abortion rate is 29 per 1,000 women of childbearing age in Africa and 32 per 1,000 in Latin America—regions in which abortion is illegal under most circumstances in the majority of countries. The rate is 12 per 1,000 in Western Europe, where abortion is generally permitted on broad grounds.

IFLRY calls upon and its MOs to:

  • Demand and work towards guaranteeing reproductive and sexual rights for all, including access to adequate sexual health and reproductive education, to legal, safe and accessible birth control for all men and women, as well as to legal, safe and accessible abortion for all women.
  • Advocate for strengthened abortion rights worldwide, to promote and protect the sexual health and reproductive rights of girls and women around the world, no matter their country of residence;
  • Urge the recognition of these rights in the Agenda 2030 to all our partners: Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG3) ensures healthy lives and promotes well-being for all at all ages and SDG5 aims to achieve gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls.
  • That access to legal, safe and accessible birth control and abortions are based on the principle of physical integrity and self-determination, and not compromised by limitations with no or very limited health benefits.

The International Federation of Liberal Youth (IFLRY) asks all Governments to:

  • Guarantee free access to abortion until the 18th week and access beyond this term in cases of fetal malformation or threat to the mother;
  • Guarantee free access for minors and provide psychological support to ensure that the minor’s parents are notified in such decisions, and therefore for her to feel supported by the family in this unpleasant process;
  • Provide easy access to contraceptives for all citizens, especially young people with less economic resources;
  • Implement measures to increases information efforts, ensuring that all teenagers are well-informed and that public offices are located throughout the country are available for youth support.
  • Implement measures enhancing education of sexual conducts in schools with sufficient budget measures promoting responsibility in the exercise of sexuality;
  • Stimulate their governments to support She Decides. This fund was a response to the U.S. President’s banning financial support to foreign organizations that provide access to safe abortion or information about abortion, even if they do so with other than U.S. funding. She Decides aims to support initiatives related to sexual health and family planning to ensure that women all over the world will keep their fundamental rights even after the mitigated support of the U.S.

 

Resolution 6: The Persecution of Myanmar’s Rohingya People

Submitted by the Danish Social Liberal Youth Party (RU)

Noting that:

  • Myanmar’s Muslim minority, from the rest of the population numbering approximately 1,2 million people, has been subject to discrimination from the rest of the population for an extended period of time. The minority is denied citizenship under the Myanmar Civil Rights Act of 1982 and the Rohingya people’s access to healthcare and its right to study, work, travel, marry and practice religion is strictly limited
  • The Rohingya of Myanmar are not considered one of the 135 ethnic groups in the country despite the fact that they make up 2-3% of the population
  • After a series of attacks on police stations and the killing of 9 police officers back in October 2016, the Myanmarese government established an alleged safety zone around the territories with the highest concentration of the Rohingya people in hope of tracking down the insurgents behind the attacks.
  • Journalists, emergency aid organizations and UN-observers have been formally denied access to the “safety zone”. However, satellite photos along with refugees and journalists from BBC report of a downright ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya minority.
  • According to a report published by the United Nations Human Rights office, there have been numerous incidents of rape, houses being razed, executions of civilians and brutal murders of infant children.

Considering that:

  • Thousands of  Rohingya are regularly smuggled through Thailand and other countries in the region, as part of a comprehensive and organized human trafficking.
  • Many Rohingya who flee their country are later sold as slaves, tortured, starved, raped or beaten to death by their captors
  • The United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution in July 2015, requesting improved conditions for the persecuted minority in Myanmar.

Believing that:

  • Genocides and ethnic cleansing can only be seen as a crime against humanity.
  • Every member nation of the United Nations bears a joint responsibility in securing human rights for all of humankind.


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

  • The international society to pressure Myanmar through sanctions in the hope of securing official UN-observers and emergency aid organizations access to the suppressed region.


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

  • The UN Human Rights Council shall establish a Commission of Inquiry to make an independent, international investigation on human rights violations and abuses in Rakhine State.
  • The Myanmarese government to come before the International Court of Justice for crimes against the humanity if The United Nations finds solid proof of the government subjugating the Rohingya minority to inhuman deeds.
  • Our member organizations to stand behind the United Nations resolution from July 3rd, 2015 concerning the Rohingya people

 

Resolution 7: 28 million child refugees

Noting that:

  • 28 million children all over the world are fleeing from war and violent conflict, according to UNICEF
  • Children make up only one third of the world’s population, but more than half of all refugees are children.
  • 17 million of these are internally displaced due to various violent conflicts
  • The number of child refugees has increased by 75% over the last five years, and the number was doubled between 2015 and 2016.

Considering that:

  • Children are often dependent on other people, and are especially vulnerable to exploitation. Child refugees are also particularly exposed to dangers like malnutrition, drowning, kidnapping, rape and murder.
  • Many child refugees incur debt due to human trafficking, and they are often led straight into criminal environments.

IFLRY calls for:

  • All countries to contribute to increase the safety of these children by giving them permanent residence permit when they cannot be returned due to the absence of a caregiver.
  • Governments to guarantee direct access to basic human right from the moment the child-refugees officially arrive at a host country. Including education specifically suited to bring their development in line with the regular education system of the country.
  • The international community to cooperate in order to secure safe routes and conditions for child refugees. Child refugees should have priority above other refugees in programs aimed at providing basic human needs for refugees.
  • Governments of especially transit- and destination countries to sign an international agreement to provide safer conditions for displaced children.
  • The international community to fulfill their obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as well as under the Geneva Convention, in order to make sure no child fleeing conflicts or crisis is denied their basic human rights.
  • The international community to secure adequate funding for UNHCR and UNICEF to meet the basic needs and fundamental rights of displaced children.

 

Resolution 8: The structure of the UN Security Council

Submitted by the Danish Social Liberal Youth Party (RU)

Noting that:

  • The current structure of the United Nations Security Council consists of five permanent members and ten rotating temporary members. This has been the case since 1945.
  • The world order consists of several powerful actors. Most of them are national states, but we might be seeing a shift towards key regional actors gaining more influence.

Believing that:

  • As the world changes, so should the structure of vital organs in the United Nations.
  • There could be plenty of arguments to let other states have permanent seats – or to dismiss the principle of permanent seats.
  • The Security Council must be able to deal effectively with urgent issues, while at the same time become more broadly representative of the international community as a whole
  • Representativeness must be reflected in both categories of the Council’s membership, permanent members and non-permanent members

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

  • The EU to advocate for a permanent EU seat within the council, as part of a common defense, security and foreign policy
  • The UN to recognise the calls for inclusion of regional groups in selecting candidates for permanent and non-permanent seats
  • The UN to improve the representatives of the Security Council through enlargement of the number of non-permanent members from 5-10 , making the total number of members, including the P5, 25.
  • The UN to respect the existence of the P5’s veto while recognizing the demands for  a more restrained use of it and renegotiating the terms of permanent seats.
  • The UN to correct the distorted geographical balance by improving the participation of countries from the Southern Hemisphere, including Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean in the permanent members

 

Resolution 9: End the atrocities against the LGBTI-people in the Chechen Republic

Liberala ungdomsförbundet, Svensk Ungdom, Centerpartiets Ungdomsförbund

Noting that:

  • Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported on the 1st of April that a mass arrest of homosexuals has taken place in the Chechen Republic
  • Murders, torture and locking people up in “concentration camp -like facilities” have been reported in the wake of the mass arrests
  • The alleged crimes have been officially denied, but unofficially confirmed by Chechen authorities
  • No investigation has yet taken place or been called upon

Considering that:

  • The Chechen Republic is a republic of the Russian Federation and the President of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, is backed by the Kremlin
  • We have during the last few years witnessed the growth of oppressive Islamic ideals in  Chechnya
  • The Chechen society can not be deemed safe for LGBT-people today
  • Press Secretary of the Head of Chechnya commented “..it is impossible to arrest those people who don’t exist.”

IFLRY calls upon:

  • Russia to acknowledge the crimes that have taken place and immediately put an end to the situation
  • the UN to set up an independent investigatory body to investigate the sexual orientation and gender-based rights abuses, with the objective to hold the perpetrators accountable for the atrocities
  • the EU and wider international community to sanction Russia in relevant human rights bodies for failing to uphold basing human rights standards and impose further economic sanctions.
  • the Chechen authorities to let the victims free and grant them the freedom of leaving the republic in search of refuge
  • An end to the atrocities committed by the Chechen authorities and those responsible to be put trial for their crimes

 

Resolution 10: Do. Or do not. There is no try. – Strengthening multilateral efforts to empower refugees

Submitted by Junge Liberale (JuLis)

Noting that:

  • Still more than 50 million people in the world have been forced to flee their country because of war, poverty or unwarranted and arbitrary prosecution.
  • Millions of refugees have to spend months or years in temporary settlements that are not equipped for long-term stays.
  • Not providing education for refugees is a missed opportunity; leaving them uneducated and unskilled can delay the return of peace to their countries.

Considering that:

  • Seeking and enjoying asylum in other countries is a human right and the international community has the responsibility to protect and help refugees.
  • The cross-border nature of irregular migration and human trafficking requires transnational and multilateral approaches.
  • All 193 member states of the UN recognized the need for a comprehensive approach to human mobility and enhanced cooperation at the global level in the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants
  • Cooperation and harmonization in the field of migration policies benefits refugees and global peace and stability alike.
  • Education is a human right and the key to sustainable development.

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

  • All parties to the New York Declaration shall honour their commitments and actively work towards the Global Compact on refugees and the Global compact for safe, regular and orderly migration
  • UNHCR to provide education facilities within refugee camps in order to allow refugees to start or continue education and vocational training as well as offer postgraduate professional education and language courses for refugees who are about to be resettled to another country
  • UNHCR and UNICEF to facilitate partnerships between established schools and universities and educational facilities in refugee camps as well as to promote ongoing initiatives that provide access to online courses or blended learning for refugees
  • The World Bank and other development banks to set up start-up programs that offer mentoring, networks, financial resources and office space for eligible refugees with business ideas in order to encourage them to become entrepreneurs.
  • The EU in cooperation with other international organizations to provide for a legal and safe alternative to irregular migration, in order to prevent smuggling, human trafficking and fatal accidents on the sea, for example by making it possible to start the asylum procedure outside of the receiving states’ territories.
  • The international community to effectively address root causes of irregular migration by increasing the commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals and the effort to end wars and conflicts.

Urgent Resolution: Pressuring U.S to stay in Paris Agreement

Submitted by: Finnish Centre Youth Spokesperson: Hilkka Kemppi (FCY)

Considering that:

  • The Paris agreement is a climate change agreement dealing with greenhouse gas emissions mitigation. 195 countries signed the agreement in 2015, including the United States of America.
  • The Axios news, ABC, CNN and CBS News reported Wednesday 31st May 2017 that U.S. President Donald Trump has decided to withdraw from the Paris climate accord.
  • Trump has previously called global warming a hoax and now he refused to endorse the landmark climate change accord at a summit of the G-7 group of leading industrial nations, saying he needed more time to decide.
  • Trump had also vowed during his campaign to “cancel” the Paris deal as part of an effort to bolster oil and coal industries.
  • If the United States withdraws from the Paris climate deal, it would be a major reversal for the climate as U.S. is the world’s second-biggest carbon dioxide emitter behind China.
  • Without additional efforts to reduce emissions the surface temperature increases in 2100 from 3.7°C to 4.8°C, according to the International Panel of Climate Change.
  • The U.S. and EU are the largest trading partners of most other countries in the world and account for a third of world trade flows.

Believing that:

  • The climate change is a major global threat to all living creatures on earth.
  • Without urgent actions, the increased climate warming can cause floods, draught, unexpected weather phenomena etc.
  • It is vital that strong nations around the world stand for the Paris agreement, especially the leading economies such as U.S. and China.
  • The economic growth cannot be done by sacrificing our nature.
  • The green economy and entrepreneurship is an economic opportunity for all countries and the withdrawal of the Paris agreement harms the development of a job-creating green economy in the USA.

Calls upon IFLRY and its MOs to:

  • Demand their governments a strong will to stay in the Paris climate agreement.
  • To stress the U.S. to support the Paris agreement and to implement it.
  • The green economy and entrepreneurship is an economic opportunity for all countries and the withdrawal of the Paris agreement harms the development of a job-creating green economy in the USA.