General Assembly in Beirut, 2017

Resolutions adopted at the 42nd General Assembly
14th – 17th December 2017, Beirut, Lebanon

 

Resolution 1: On the Need For A Blue Economy

Submitted by Joventut Nacionalista de Catalunya (JNC), African Liberal Youth (ALY), Radikal Ungdom (RU), Jonge Democraten (JD), Junge Liberale (JuLis)

Considering that:

  • Oceans, seas, lakes and rivers cover more than 70% of the Earth’s surface, generate an increasing share of economic growth and development and are at the heart of globalisation, as 90% of global trade is conducted via seas and oceans and 95% of global communications use submarine cable networks;
  • OECD is expecting sustained growth in maritime tourism, which, by 2030, is expected to account for 26% of the blue economy;
  • one fifth of the annual fishing worldwide is illegal overfishing, which compromises the regeneration of fish stocks and leads to significant economic losses;
  • marine pollution comes in large part from terrestrial sources, such as the accumulation of nutrients from agriculture, industrial and plastic waste, and marine pollution from hydrocarbons endangers economic activities, biodiversity and human health;
  • Climate change and the acidification of the oceans are causing a rise in sea levels and disrupting ocean ecosystems.

Believing that:

  • the blue economy makes a significant contribution to economic growth in many areas of the world, such as Africa or Asia;
  • fishing is of strategic importance in terms of economic development, participation in international trade and food and supply;
  • the desire for an energy transition offers new prospects for the development of marine energy and offshore wind power;
  • Blue economy must be sustainable and take account of ecological environmental concerns, the fragile nature of the marine environment and the exhaustible or limited nature of available resources.

IFLRY calls for:

  • Protection and assistance to be provided by the United Nations to less developed countries (LDC), insular as well as coastal, in Africa, Asia, America and the Pacific, stamping out unsustainable overfishing practices by either domestic or foreign vessels;
  • the International Development Association (IDA) and the Green Climate Fund to fully deploy their programmes with the help of the UN;
  • the United Nations to review the status of fish stocks in international waters and promote measures that ensure their sustainability for the years to come;
  • the responsible development of aquaculture to provide an alternative to overfishing and respond to the growing demand for food;
  • the conditions to be put into place for people living in places with severely depleted fish stocks to be able to transition towards other sources of income, such as maritime tourism;
  • The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to embrace the blue economy as part of its programmes for economic and societal development.

 

Resolution 2: Abolish Daylight Saving Time

Submitted by Radikal Ungdom

Noting that:

  • 68 countries in the world still use Daylight Saving Time in 2017
  • There is no evidence that Daylight Saving Time leads to actual energy savings.
  • Daylight Saving Time disturbs people’s circadian rhythm and has large consequences for some people’s mental health.
  • Not all countries start and end Daylight Saving Time on the same date.

Considering that:

  • After the start of Daylight Saving Time studies show an increase in among other things traffic accidents, workplace incidents due to the lack of sleep.
  • Studies show depressions starts more often after the end of Daylight Saving Time due to the early darkness.
  • Productivity decreases after the start of Daylight Saving Time.
  • It’s costly for some businesses having to deal with days of 23 or 25 hours, for instance some energy businesses.
  • Different dates for switching to and from Daylight Saving Time across countries leads to time differences between countries will change up to 4 times a year. This is adverse for trading

IFLRY calls for:

  • All countries to fully abolish Daylight Saving Time.
  • The European Council to amend its directive on Daylight Saving Time to stop using it at all. This will encourage the rest of the European countries to abolish Daylight Saving Time, and thereby increase the possibility for abolition of Daylight Saving Time among other countries outside of Europe

 

Resolution 3: To End the War on Drugs

Submitted by IFLRY Bureau

Noting that:

  • After careful consideration the liberal government of Canada wishes to legalize cannabis which could generate 5 billion $ in tax revenue
  • Portugal and Switzerland have had success dealing with crime and overdoses through decriminalization of user doses in Portugal and free heroin to heavy users in Switzerland
  • Other countries, like Norway, with heavy regulations are among the countries with the highest number of fatal overdoses.
  • Injecting heroin is far more lethal than inhaling it with smoke
  • According to Kofi Annan, former secretary general of the UN, illegal drug trafficking is a major problem in e.g.Western Africa
  • More than 7000 people have died due to the Philippine government’s inhumane and brutal war to end the country’s problem with drugs, and sources say that the police is covering up evidence to justify these killing
  • The Mexican cartels are among the world’s most powerful criminals, and their violent regime has cost more than 120.000 lives in the last ten years.

Considering that:

  • Legalizing cannabis will ensure that the money involved in the drug market now will be taxed and go to the government instead of criminals
  • The UN reports that criminalization of personal use of narcotics often prevents ordinary people to get their health rights fulfilled due to, amongst other things, a fear of prosecution
  • Conservative UN countries restrict others countries path to a more humane drug policies through UN conventions.
  • These conventions might prevent countries like Canada and Mexico to continue their current reforms without breaking international law
  • The UN and their conventions is currently restricted on international drug policies rather than being progressive and open to liberal solution
  • The war on drugs has failed; it has cost several trillion dollars, and have lead to a strong increase in global drug trafficking

IFLRY calls for:

  • States to follow closely the Canadian reforms on their drug policy and watch the consequences it has on the number of user, and the effect of illegal drug trafficking
  • Their member organisations to push their governments to change the UN’s restrictive policies on drugs.
  • Their member organisations to push for implementation of liberal drug reforms in their countries, like decriminalisation of user doses and initiatives to smoke heroin instead of injecting


Resolution 4: End the slavery and illegal detention of refugees in Libya

Submitted by Center Party Youth and Liberal Youth, Swedish Youth of Finland

Noting that:

  • The agreement between Turkey and EU has restricted the possible routes for refugees to enter Europe, implying an increase in people choosing the route by the Mediterranean Sea to enter Europe.
  • up to 1 000 000 refugees currently resides in Libya on their way to Europe.
  • The situation for refugees crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Libya is being exploited by traffickers. Refugees are being sold as slaves.
  • Some 33 000 refugees has died on the Mediterranean since year 2000 trying to reach Europe.
  • The libyan government in practice contributes to the danger of trying to enter Europe.
  • The situation for refugees in Libya has worsened during the last period due to lack of a functioning government and the fact that the United Nations has withdrawn much of its presence in Libya. In 2011, revolt and civil war broke out in Libya.
  • Libya is an important destination for refugees and other migrants who try to travel to Europe across the Mediterranean. The chaotic situation has led to an outbreak of human trafficking and other forms of exploitation of fleeing people.
  • 96% of the country’s revenues came previously from oil, but due to rivalry over the control of oil resources state income has plummeted. An economic crisis will further aggravate the humanitarian crisis.
  • The conflict in Libya has also led to the creation and strengthening of other conflicts in the region, especially southwest of Libya where the terrorist group Boko Haram is active, and the conflict in Mali where French forces have intervened.
  • In August 2017, Italy and the EU put in place a deal to train the Libyan coastguard to intercept boats and return migrants to Libya. Because of the deal, arrivals in Italy have dropped dramatically, but this has led to increased overcrowding and abuse in Libyan detention facilities.
  • Libya’s Department of Combating Illegal Migration (DCIM) said almost 20,000 people were now in their detention facilities, dramatically up from just 7,000 in September 2017.
  • Libya is recognised as a level 3 emergency in International Organization for Migration (IOM)
  • The centres are ruled by the military and hold up to 200 – 300 detainees within 30 – 40 m2 without even proper sanitation facilities

IFLRY calls for:

  • The European Union to renegotiate the migration agreement with Libya and take a greater responsibility for the fate of refugees seeking their ways to Europe instead of out-sourcing the responsibility to less well-functioning states.
  • The Libyan governments to further carry through necessary actions to prevent the violation of refugees’ human rights as well as making sure that those who partake in the slave trade are prosecuted.
  • The United Nations to prioritize establishing political stability and peace in Libya in order to prevent further suffering among refugees in the area.
  • The European Union to establish ways to gain asylum that is based on needs rather than who manages to get to Europe. The need to provide tailored assistance and to support vulnerable migrants in Libya, especially to those individuals falling into the following categories: (a) Migrants, (b) Internally Displaced People (IDPs), and (c) Host Communities.
  • the need to fulfill the necessary criteria for the detention facilities, and improve the conditions for the detainees
  • to allow for more personnel from international aid organizations to enter the country
  • to bring perpetrators to justice, increasing humanitarian aid and strengthening national capacity to protect the vulnerable.
  • All IOM member states to support IOM with their project to release all detainees, in cooperation with the Libyan government, from the detention centers in Libya by the end of 2018. All returns to the countries of origin shall be done in a voluntary, safe and dignified matter.
  • To end all arbitrary detention in Libya. Detention of migrants or asylum-seekers should only take place as a last resort, taking into consideration international law and especially the principles of legality and necessity.
  • Alternatives to detention, as safe spaces and open centers.


Resolution 5: A Liberal Reaction to Trump (merged with
the racist and xenophobic riots in the USA)

Submitted by Jonge Democraten (JD) and Joventut Nacionalista de Catalunya (JNC)

Considering that:

  • President Trump, in the time that he has been in office, has initiated a number of plans detrimental to foreign affairs and diplomatic relationships with other countries;
  • The United States of America is now the only country outside the Paris Agreement;
  • Man-made climate change is a widely acknowledged wicked problem affecting everyone, including the US;
  • The US is number 2 in global greenhouse gas emissions;
  • The US is now the only country outside the Paris Agreement to stop manmade climate change;
  • The world is converging ever closer together and people have been moving across borders in unprecedented numbers;
  • Putting up new barriers against free trade will undo the progress that has been made over the past decades in this area Since the presidential election of 8 November 2016, the United States of America have a new president who not only ran a candidacy impregnated by bigotry and offensive speeches against minorities.
  • Donald J. Trump, as 45th President of the USA, has consistently created political controversies since he swore in on 20 January 2017. Controversies based on xenophobic and hate speeches.
  • The events of 11 and 12 August 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, where white supremacists riot the streets, where an anti-supremacist person lost her life, where Mr. Trump failed to react against it, are a new disturbing moment that worries us all.

Believing that:

  • Climate change is a serious worldwide issue affecting everyone, including the United States of America, and if not stopped climate change will have grave consequences for ecosystems, coastal protection, food security and migration;
  • Combating climate change requires a global devotion, with every nation involved;
  • Investment in the reduction of greenhouse emissions is an economic opportunity for sustainable growth;
  • The United States of America to be a country founded and built by immigrants and any xenophobia to run counter to the American Dream;
  • Travel or immigration bans should not be imposed on the basis of one particular individual’s place of birth or nationality;
  • Walls on borders will not keep out immigration;
  • Free and fair trade is a hallmark of the world of tomorrow;
  • Trade deficits of a country do not generally result from other countries’ lack of adherence to commonly agreed to trade rules;
  • A major trading bloc putting up new barriers to trade will hit the world economy gravely and run counter to the liberalisation experienced in recent times.
  • The United States of America are an indispensable political, economic and cultural ally of many other free nations of the world.
  • Speeches using hatred, bigotry and violence as ways and goals are incompatible with free and democratic societies.
  • All human beings are free and equal in our pursuit of happiness regardless our origins, creeds, sexual orientation, and color of skin.

IFLRY calls for:

  • The Administration of the United States of America to take responsibility and cut greenhouse emissions, to keep warming under 2 degrees Celsius, and to respect the Paris Agreement;
  • The Administration of the United States of America to resist building walls, to refuse closing the border to immigrants and to scrap any plans for travel bans;
  • The Administration of the United States of America to respect and maintain their current trade agreements as well as worldwide trade rules;
  • The Administration of the United States of America not to interfere in the European Union’s and third countries’ foreign policies, as it does not wish other nations and entities to interfere in its policies;
  • The Administration of the United States of America to respect its closest allies, not treating them as foes.
  • Condemns all the statements and speeches made by the Trump Administration, made with the aim of dividing the American society, and based on hatred, bigotry and aggressiveness.
  • Condemns all types of demonstrations that use violence as a mean to change things, in the USA as well as everywhere else in our planet.

 

Resolution 6: On the Current Situation In Catalonia

Submitted by Joventut Nacionalista de Catalunya (JNC)

Summary

  • The Spanish government has refused to negotiate on the subject of a referendum despite an overwhelming majority (80%) of voters in Catalonia wanting a vote and the results of the 2015 Catalan election, in which 59.19% of the votes and 83 out of 135 seats went to parties supporting a referendum.
  • The Spanish government has made use of the inadequate separation of powers.
  • The regional government of Catalonia held a referendum on Catalan independence after their legal framework for the referendum was suspended by a ruling of the Spanish constitutional court. The regional Government of Catalonia reported a result of 90,09% in favour among ballots counted and a ballot turnout of 56.75% including ballots which were seized by the Spanish police and therefore not counted.
  • Appalling scenes of police brutality, which were roundly condemned across Europe and the world, unfolded in Catalonia on the date of the referendum as Spanish riot police made use of force against protesters and against voters to take away ballot boxes and ballot papers.

Considering that:

  • IFLRY has also called for Catalan citizens to express their democratic will freely in a referendum on the political future of Catalonia;
  • the Liberal International has also stated its support for any decision taken by the Catalan people on their future;
  • whatever their views on independence, 80% of people in Catalonia want the issue put to a referendum;
  • The Spanish government has refused to negotiate a referendum despite the aforementioned level of popular support and repeated entreaties from international politicians and political movements;
  • a referendum was held on 1 October 2017 by the Catalan regional Government, despite the Spanish constitutional court suspending their Law on a Self-determination Referendum on the Independence of Catalonia, passed by the Parliament of Catalonia on 6 September;
  • the Spanish Constitutional Court has provisionally suspended said law pending its judgement on the case, while the Spanish government claims that it is illegal
  • the Spanish government has had beforehand warned it might exert its power to uphold the courts suspension of the referendum law by arresting the arrest of journalists, civil servants and 712 out of 947 mayors in Catalonia for taking part in preparations for the referendum
  • the power exertion by the Spanish national government has prompted 17 members of the Parliament of Denmark, representing seven different parties, to write to the Spanish government expressing their “deep concern for the situation in Catalonia, which has reached a critical point” and urging Madrid to refrain from using threats and repression;
  • on 20 September, the Spanish national paramilitary police stormed several Catalan regional ministries and government buildings and arrested a dozen officials for conducting the referendum, in a move which was roundly condemned throughout the political spectrum, including ALDE national MPs and MEPs;
  • the OHCHR issued a statement in which UN rights experts warned that “[t]he measures we are witnessing are worrying because they appear to violate fundamental individual rights, cutting off public information and the possibility of debate at a critical moment for Spain’s democracy.”
  • British MPs and peers also wrote a letter voicing their concerns and calling on the Spanish government to cease repression and allow the referendum;
  • on 1 October, scenes of shocking and police violence against voters left 893 people injured and were roundly condemned all over the world;
  • during the months of October and November, the leaders of two Catalan civil organisations and half of the Catalan government were jailed despite serious doubts on the jurisdiction of the court and the applicability of the charges against them;
  • the pro-independence drive in Catalonia is partly a pro-European civic movement with a strong commitment to the values of the European Union.

IFLRY calls for:

  • de-escalation and non-confrontational approaches from all parties involved in the conflict, including the release of the aforementioned prisoners;
  • international mediation between the Spanish national and the Catalan regional government under EU involvement;
  • rejects any abuse of the judiciary forces as a means of repression against journalists, elected officials and volunteers taking part in a peaceful referendum in Catalonia;
  • strongly condemns the brutality of Spanish police forces against voters on the date of the referendum;
  • takes note of the result of the referendum held on 1 October 2017 in Catalonia; and urges the Spanish government to negotiate in good faith with the Government of  Catalonia;
  • acknowledgement of the call for regional elections in Catalonia for 21 December 2017 and asks both sides to make a democratic and peaceful political campaign based on fair-play and respect, in order to accept the results of such elections.

 

Resolution 7: On Attacks against the Freedom Of Expression in Turkey

Submitted by Joventut Nacionalista de Catalunya (JNC), 3H Movement (Turkey), Jonge Democraten (JD)

Considering that:

  • Freedom of expression is one of the most relevant and important freedoms any individual and society could enjoy;
  • Turkey as a member state of the United Nations is subject to the the Universal Declaration of Human Rights under public international law, including to the right to freedom and expression laid down in Art.19 of the Declaration;
  • Freedom of expression is a gained liberty which is still hampered all around the world, such as Turkey, where approximately 50,000 journalists, teachers, intellectuals and writers have been jailed, and more than 150 press members have been suspended by the oppressive rule of the president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan under the excuse of state of emergency that has been lasting since the failed coup attempt;
  • The Turkish administration accounted for more than half of all content removal requests sent to Twitter during the second half of 2016, 3,076 of 5,925 requests, putting it on the top of the list worldwide;
  • The Spanish government temporarily arrested Turkish journalists Doğan Akhanlı and Hamza Yalçın, who are at the same time EU citizens, at the request of the Turkish government;

Believing that:

  • No centralised government nor any elite has the right to impose its will to the public opinion through the information and communication technologies;
  • Democratic countries should not accept the legal fig leafs (e.g. trumped-up charges of terrorism, embezzlement, libel…) used by illiberal governments’ smokescreens when jailing political dissidents;
  • Social media have to be used responsibly as a means of harnessing and developing freedom of expression and speech, not to attack it.

IFLRY:

  • Condemns any attempt or attack to freedom of expression or speech;
  • Reaffirms its will to always defend and seek guarantees to this liberty;
  • Calls for the Turkish government and jurisdiction to release any prisoner who is arrested solely due to the exercise of his or her right to freedom of expression.

 

Resolution 8: Universal Space Policy

Submitted by Center Party Youth and Liberal Youth Sweden

Noting that:

  • The universe has always been fascinating to humans, increasing our knowledge about space both has a value in itself and is of great importance for technological development.
  • Scientific discoveries enhance intellectual and economic growth due the innovations created by new knowledge.
  • Research opens up for possibilities to expand and discover space outside of our globe.
  • The space entails resources that potentially could be of great importance for humanity
  • Since the new area will be a game changer for humanity it is of great need that the international community creates a common space policy that ensures sustainability, liberal values and peace.

Considering that:

  • It is a responsibility for all countries to contribute to research in the scientific field of astronomy and physics.
  • Free movement of people and goods must apply in space. This implies that territorial claims in space should continue to be prohibited in a near future.
  • It is important to create a legal framework in space in order to secure the continuation of liberal principles such as free enterprise, property rights and the rule of law.
  • The shared science conducted in the area should be of peaceful purposes.

IFLRY urges:

  • The international community to ensure that the internal conflicts on our planet is not to be expanded into space.
  • The international community to establish a common space policy that ensures universal human rights, and an aim for peace and multilateral collaboration.
  • Member states that has not yet ratified the outer space treaty to do so.

 

Resolution 9: Dress to impress human rights

Submitted by Jonge Democraten (JD)

Noting that:

  • In 2013, a garment factory in Bangladesh collapsed resulting in more than 1000 deaths. The collapse was caused by poor construction. The fashion industry first claimed they did not work with this factory. However, in the factory clothes of a lot of global brand labels were found;
  • Because of this, an accord was established between the fashion industry companies and Bangladesh to ensure a safe work environment and human rights;
  • Which resulted in the fact that a lot of companies moved to Myanmar instead of following up on these guidelines;
  • A website called fashion index states how transparent certain companies are;
  • According to this website a lot of companies, also the high-end fashion industry, is not transparent about the conditions in which their clothes are made;
  • Recently, within the clothes of one of the most transparent fashion companies, a label was found stating that the person who worked in the garment factory of this label did not get payed by doing his/her job in Turkey.

Considering that:

  • Due to a lack of transparency consumers do not know where and under what conditions clothes are made;
  • Companies oftentimes do not know in what conditions their own clothes are made because of the sub-contractors that their contractors work with.

Believing that:

  • Consumers have a right to know what they are buying and under what conditions clothes are made;
  • Human rights should be respected at all times.


Calls upon IFLRY and its MO’s to:   
                                         

  • Increasing its lobby towards their mother parties and governments to implement policies asking the fashion industry to be transparent to:
    • make sure human rights are respected;
    • give consumers honest information about the clothes they are buying.
    • make companies responsible for having a clear understanding of their supply chains, contractors and subcontractors.

 

Resolution 9: Israel – Palestine Conflict

Submitted by IFLRY Israeli – Palestine Working Group

Noting that:

  • Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security, which recognized the role of young men and women in peacebuilding and countering violent extremism;
  • The two-state solution has been the goal of the international community for decades, dating back to the 1947 UN Partition Plan; UN resolution 242 stating the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict; also termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.
  • Virtually the entire international community supports a two-state solution. In the Middle East, most countries support the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, put forward by Saudi Arabia. The initiative was adopted unanimously by the Arab League;
  • The most recent round of negotiations fell apart in April 2014 with Israeli and Palestinian leaders blaming each other;
  • Both claim parts, if not all, of the Holy City of Jerusalem as their capital. They dispute where to draw borders and they continue to clash over Israeli settlements in occupied territory. UN Security council Resolution 476 taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal validity and constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
  • UN Resolution 2334 (December 2016) with 14 out of 15 Delegations in favour of Resolution and only with the abstention of the USA, declared Israelis Settlements illegal according to international law;
  • Basic Human Rights are being infringed by both parties, including, but not limited to the free movement of people, non-intervention, self-determination and non-discrimination;

We conclude that:

  • A negotiating table should be formed by representatives of the governments of the two concerned parties (Israel and Palestine), the Arab League, the USA, the European Union and the United Nations;
  • A final peace agreement should have as starting point a Two-State Solution with the borders previous to the Six-Days War of 1967 and confirmed by UN resolution 2334 of December 2016. It would recognize a 1967 demarcation line known as the Green Line to partition Palestinian and Israeli land;
  • During the peace negotiations, the final border settlement should be based on the pre-1967 Borders.
  • Their citizens will always have the choice to return to Israel or live in the new Palestinian State, where their human rights shall always be respected;
  • Jerusalem should be an equally administered International Capital by the two parties and under the supervision of the UN, as it was the original idea back in 1948. Two red lines shall be taken into account: The city should never be split and access to its holy places shall be guaranteed to all three world monotheistic religions.

 

Resolution 10: Independence referendum for the people of Western Sahara

Submitted by: Radikal Ungdom

Noting that:

  • That Western Sahara has been a former Spanish Colony, and that Spain withdrew from the territory in 1975;
  • That both Morocco and Mauretania claimed rights to the territory in 1975;
  • That Western Sahara has been occupied by Morocco since 1975;
  • That a ceasefire was ensured in 1991, and that the conflicting parties agreed to hold a referendum regarding the future and the national identity of the people in Western Sahara;
  • That a large amount of the indigenous people of Western Sahara fled to Algeria in the years following 1975;
  • That the territory is subject to disputes in international law;
  • That both Morocco and Polisario have claimed rights to the territory.

Considering that:

  • That a major part of the indigenous population in Western Sahara still live in refugee camps in Algeria;
  • That the indigenous people of Western Sahara are exposed to continuous violations by Moroccan forces;
  • That the indigenous people of Western Sahara are exposed to continuous institutional discrimination from Moroccan policies;
  • That indigenous people of Western Sahara have been denied their right to vote in a referendum regarding the future of the territory.

IFLRY calls for:

  • The UN Security Council to enlarge MINURSO’s mandate in the region, and thereby enable the mission to gain control with the Human Rights situation in Western Sahara;
  • The two sides to resume negotiations for a fair, sustainable solution in Western Sahara;
  • To include youth representatives as participants in a negotiation process and as positive change agents on both sides of the conflict;
  • The Moroccan Government to actively counteract institutional discrimination against the people of Western Sahara;
  • To give the indigenous people of Western Sahara the right to self-­‐determination and the possibility to decide themselves the future of their country;
  • That the right to self-­‐determination held by the indigenous people of Western Sahara should be executed by a referendum.

 

Resolution 11: The Requirement to Stop Political Persecution In Hong Kong And To Release Political Detainees

Submitted by Liberal Democratic League of Ukraine (LDLU)

Acknowledging that:

  • The state of affairs developed in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China must guarantee the preservation of democratic principles in compliance with the Sino-British Joint Declaration signed in 1948.
  • The mass protests in 2003 and 2014 were intended to cease Mainland China’s interference with the Hong Kong democratic process.
  • The 2014 Umbrella Revolution, driven by students and young people, was the consequence of the quasi-democratic reform on the Hong Kong Legislative Council’s Chief Executive elections.
  • According to the results of the 2016 Hong Kong Legislative Council elections, Nathan Law, one of the Umbrella Revolution leaders, became the youngest elected legislator in the history of Hong Kong.
  • Nathan Law was disqualified from the Legislative Council after taking the oath considered by Mainland China to be contrary to the Chinese mainland legislation.
  • Similar incidents happened to other duly elected members of the Hong Kong Legislative Council, among which are Baggio Leung and Yau Wai Ching.
  • Since the beginning of 2017, political pressure on young democratic activists and subsequent harassment by law enforcement agencies has been taking place in Hong Kong.
  • The court rulings on the Hong Kong activists were recognized as politically motivated and non-compliant with the international human rights law norms by the majority of human rights organizations in the world, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.


Considering that:

  • The leaders of the Umbrella Revolution – Joshua Wong, Nathan Law, Alex Chow – were imprisoned for peaceful protests during the 2014 Umbrella Revolution.
  • Joshua Wong and Nathan Law have been deprived of passive suffrage for a period of 5 years beginning with the moment the judgement was handed down by the Hong Kong court.
  • To date, more than 10 young democratic leaders remain detained in Hong Kong.
  • Over 100 politically motivated criminal proceedings have been instituted against democratic activists.


Stating that:

  • In compliance with the provisions of the international agreements between the United Kingdom and the People’s Republic of China, according to the norms of the Hong Kong Basic Law and to the principle defined as “One Country, Two Systems” in Article 31 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, the government of Mainland China has no right to interfere in democratic processes on the territory of its special administrative district, to exert political pressure on Hong Kong’s government officials, law enforcement agents and judges, to deprive the people of Hong Kong of human rights and freedoms, or in any other manner to harass them before the expiry of the period of fifty years from 1 July 1997 (that is to say till 1 July 2047).
  • The Hong Kong Judicial System is independent of the political will of the Chinese mainland government in accordance with Article 19 of the Hong Kong Basic Law, and the courts should discharge their duties freely and independently from any interference in accordance with Article 85 of the Hong Kong Basic Law.
  • Articles 19-21 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as Articles 27 and 28 of the Hong Kong Basic Law guarantee Hong Kong citizens the inviolability of their rights, in particular the rights to freedom of opinion and expression, assembly and association, as well as the right to take part in government.


IFLRY calls for:

  • Restoration of the political and legal situation guaranteed by the principle “One Country, Two Systems”.
  • Establishment of a dialogue between Hong Kong democrats and representatives of the Chinese mainland government to promote comprehension and harmony in the region.
  • To immediately cease political persecution of pro-democratic activists and their families in Hong Kong.
  • To release political prisoners forthwith.
  • To return passive suffrage to Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and to other activists detained for their political activities and beliefs.
  • To establish contacts with the Demosistō party, as well as with other democratic political parties and Hong Kong youth movements to strengthen communications and disseminate information about the situation in Hong Kong to the rest of the world.
  • To encourage participation of democratic youth organizations and wings of Hong Kong political parties in the activities of IFLRY.
  • To support all liberal-minded Hong Kong activists and to distribute information on political pressure incurred by them.
  • To assist Hong Kong democrats in protecting rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong.

 

Urgent Resolution: Upcoming presidential elections in Russia

International Federation of Liberal Youth (IFLRY):

On March 18, 2018, presidential elections will be held in Russia.

Despite the principles of freedom and equality declared by the official authorities, opposition politicians who have expressed a desire to run for presidency meet many obstacles on their way to nomination. Meanwhile, the legitimacy of the upcoming election campaign will directly depend on whether opposition politicians can be registered and get on ballots.

Such barriers are created on the way to registration of the opposition politician Alexei Navalny. The Central Election Commission of Russian Federation threatens to register him as a presidential candidate. The basis is criminal conviction of a politically motivated case, fabricated specifically to close his access to elections.

Attempts to select “convenient” candidates, having eliminated the real political alternative to the current government, undermine the legitimacy of the vote on March 18, 2018. The candidate who won such a pseudo-election will not be perceived as the president elected in public.

Taking into account the fact that the situation with freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of the media is extremely unfavorable, and the authorities are doing everything possible to propagandize people against the opposition and instill in them an unshakable faith in the incumbent president, IFLRY is hereby:

– Urges the Central Election Commission of Russian Federation to allow all independent presidential candidates participate in the elections. Candidates who are oppositional to the current government in general, and to the incumbent president in particular, must necessarily participate in presidential elections in Russia.

– Calls upon the organizations of IFLRY members to invite the parties of which they are members to speak on the topic of not allowing opposition politicians to run for presidential elections in Russia.

– Recommends to the European liberal parties, in any official contacts with the Russian authorities, raise the issue of the illegitimacy of the upcoming presidential elections in Russia, should the opposition candidates not be admitted to them.