“TOWARDS A GLOBAL COMMUNITY”
The 13th General Assembly of the World Assembly of Youth (WAY) was held in Kuala Lumpur, from January 23 to 27, 2000. The Assembly was attended by delegates from countries with a mission to set the world youth body in its original standing amongst one of the most active and recognized international youth entities. One of the main highlights of the Assembly was a seminar on “Youth and Governance in the new Millennium”, which focused on the challenges of the new millennium, using experiences from the past centuries. Issues covered reflected the positive outlook on the contributions and significance of WAY as a global platform for youth and youth organisations in pursuit of peace, development and prosperity for all, through the mobilization, interaction and integration of national, regional and international youth-related bodies.
From its inception in August 1949, the World Assembly of Youth established itself as an epitome of an international society that works for the advancement of humankind through empowerment of those that are bearing the future: the youth. Through the passage of time, it has promoted inter-ethnic respect and fostered inter-cultural and international understanding and cooperation. It has facilitated the collection, compilation and dissemination of information pertaining to the needs of the world’s young people, and has provided a platform for the interchange of these ideas. Perhaps most importantly, it has spearheaded the formation of national youth councils in several territories, and thus provided young people from in those nations with a unified voice. During the colonial era, WAY supported and encouraged the nationalist movements non-self governing countries in their struggles for liberation. As a whole, WAY has encouraged the full participation of young men and women in the development and democratic processes in their countries.
Against the backgrounds of an illustrious past, and the challenges that lies in the new millennium, the World Assembly of Youth launches its Millennium Plan of Action, based on the recommendations and resolutions passed at the 13th General Assembly that covered the period in the previous millennium. Among the challenges are the scarcity of financial and material resources, the continued poverty and suffering affecting a considerable percentage of the world’s young people, and the intermittent hostilities occurring different race, religions and nations.
It is, however, because of these challenges the organisations like the World Assembly of Youth exist. Our Millennium Plan of Action is therefore based on them, and aims to make a positive contribution towards the advancement of the global community. We will cooperate with agencies of the United Nations and Commonwealth- such as the World Youth Forum, and Commonwealth Youth Programme- non-governmental organisations as well as governmental and quasi-governmental institutions. More critically, we will cooperate with a wide cross- section of youth organisations from around the globe to ensure that the voice of the youth is unanimous and a true and accurate reflection of the needs of the individual and society.
OUR THEME: TOWARDS A GLOBAL COMMUNITY - 2004
We are creating tomorrow’s world today
Everyone likes to prosper, to be able to achieve the best, to live in harmonious surroundings, and to be respected as a human being. A literary “perfect” society may not be naturally possible, but it is every community’s ambition to create living conditions that allow its members to reach their greatest potential. When the World Assembly of Youth was formed, the most pertinent issues were those related to democracy and independence. Today, just about every nation has achieved political independence, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been popularly adopted. A new challenge presents itself, however, is in the form of Globalisation. In a world that harbours a plethora of religions, races, cultures, languages and economic profiles, it is difficult to imagine how a truly global community may be created.
A Global Community is imminent, not just possible.
It may presently be difficult to imagine how a Global Community may be created, or how it will function, but it will not be very long until the Community actually exists. Early indications are the moves towards regionalization, such as the European Union, Association of South-East Asian Nations, Southern African Development Community and so forth. The European Union, for example, has also launched a regional currency. There are other more covert signals, such as the Internet and related technologies. Communication with any part of the world may now take place within a matter of seconds, and at relatively low cost. On-line shopping, e-commerce, even e-government, have become the new millennium buzzwords. The high number of international business transactions, migration and interaction evidences the potential of a “borderless world”.
There are both challenges and opportunities
The present anatomy of Globalisation does not fully reveal what type of creature the borderless world shall be. In fact, it is constantly being created with the continual discourse and international dialogue. It is up to today’s decision-makers to build a creature that will not work against the best interests of mankind. Some of the obvious advantages are the increased business opportunities, greater productivity as well as less bureaucracy. The potential challenges could include a perpetuation of third world poverty due to lack of access to modern technologies, failure of people to interact due to racial, ethical or religious differences, and the concentration of economic and political power on a very small percentage of the global population. It is imperative to note that the proportion of the challenges to opportunities is being determined right now, as the pathways we choose now will lead us to the distinctive global arrangements.
Today’s youth shall be the leaders of the Global Community
There may be no significant progress in both the theoretical and practical removal of national territorial borders within the next few years. The present generation of leaders, therefore, will probably not live to see the creation of a Global Community. They are merely paving the way for the future. The future is in the hands of the young people…the youth. It is accordingly fit for the youth to be actively involved in planning the future through preparation for better global cooperation. That is why the role of the World Assembly of Youth is most crucial and pivotal, as the sole voice of the youth of the world.
Objectives of the Millennium Plan of Action 2000-2004
Inspired by the resolutions of the 13th General Assembly, WAY shall implement all its programmes and activities under the theme “Towards a Global Community”. This summarizes all its aims, as well as the need for futuristic thinking. The key objectives of this theme are to:
- Lobby for the elimination of unjust and unsustainable economic practices that are leading to, and perpetuating, third world poverty;
- Conduct training activities that empower young people to start and run their own globally competitive enterprises;
- Create awareness of the need for racial and religious tolerance;
- Provide humanitarian and emergency relief to communities suffering due to hunger, poverty, natural disasters, economic and political crises;
- Promote responsible behaviour among the youth, to combat the spreading of HIV/AIDS, to reduce the use of drugs including tobacco, to discourage juvenile delinquency, and to create a physically and mentally healthy Community;
- Encourage educational development of youth, and improve educational delivery systems that reduce and eliminate poverty;
- Foster gender sensitivity in youth organisations, as well as lobbying for equitable access to leadership positions by both men and women;
- Undertake environmental conservation programmes that will ensure that the future generations will have a habitable and natural world as beautiful as it is today;
- Instill the values of democracy, transparency and accountability in the youth, and ensure that this is observed at all levels of leadership.
A busy time for WAY
These themes and objectives were determined by youth, for the youth. They will also be implemented by the youth, in various youth organisations around the world. The World Assembly of Youth will be the central coordinator of this programme, and will work with close collaboration with youth development agencies. It will certainly be a busy period, as the expected results will only come through a lot of hard work and, invariably, the cooperation of all the WAY members and affiliates.
RESOLUTIONS OF THE 13TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Three commissions were appointed, according to the charter of the World Assembly of Youth, and each one was provided with terms of reference for its research and proposals. The following were the proposals made by the two externally-oriented commissions that were accepted and duly passed as resolutions of the General Assembly.
Having examined the WAY’s policy policy and progress report from 1993-1999 at the 13th General Assembly in Kuala Lumpur, the Development Commission recommends the following:
YOUTH IN THE SERVICE OF CHILDREN
- Encourage all national youth organizations to have children’s sections within their organizational framework, and collaborate with national agencies that are working with children.
- Calls upon all governments to enact legislation or other necessary means to help increase awareness in the elimination of exploitation from irresponsible employers.
- Mandates the Secretariat to compile a data base on child labour and conduct universal activities on child labour with a view to determine how WAY can help to minimize the exploitation of children.
- Recognizes that the abuses of human rights are continually increasing in various forms worldwide.
- Urges that the deprived sections of society be taken into special consideration.
YOUTH EMPOWERMENT AND PARTICIPATION
- Mandates the WAY Secretariat to organize activities on national, regional and international levels to assist youth to properly run and develop voluntary youth organisations and to especially develop their potentials in working for the development of the society.
- Calls upon national governments to promote independent, voluntary national youth councils which may be a constructive training ground for youth empowerment and participation, and will assist to channel youth energies towards national development.
- Mandates the Secretariat to solicit support of governments in establishing and maintaining independent youth councils.
- Encourages that youth organisations’ relationships with the different sectors of society be based on partnership for youth development.
- Recommends that member of youth organisations take special consideration to include young persons in their delegation to the General Assembly and mandates the WAY Secretariat to emphasize this resolution upon sending out correspondence regarding the General Assembly.
- Recommends that all countries formulate and implement a national youth development policy with the opportunity of participation and decision making by the youth of the respective countries through dialogues and recommendations to the government.
- Encourage governments that are hosting international meetings to host a parallel international youth meeting.
EARLY PARENTHOOD AND ADOLESCENT FERTILITY
- Reiterates its concern in the neglect of family life education for young people and lack of access to information regarding their sexuality, reproductive health, birth control and cautions concerning complications of early pregnancies.
- Mandates the WAY Secretariat to promote successful programmes and best practices in the various area s to serve as an example for other countries.
- Recognizes that HIV/AIDS is becoming a serious epidemic, especially among young youth and reaffirms its commitment to HIV/AIDS education and prevention.
- Mandates the Secretariat to develop a continuous support system for People Living with HIV/AIDS ( PLWHAs) in terms of their rights, especially in the area of health, employment and emotional needs.
As all young people have the right to productive role in the society, mandates the WAY Secretariat to widen the scope for more opportunities for youth to be trained in entrepreneurship and to have access to resources essential for self employment. Volunteerism should be encouraged as an avenue to generate employment opportunities.
YOUTH AND ENVIRONMENT ACTION PROGRAMME
- Mandates the Secretariat and member organisations to continue working on environmental education programmes with specific reference to the conservation of nature and protection of our national resources, and work closely with the UNEP and the World Conservation Union (IUCN) towards the implementation of the World Conservation Strategy and the World Charter for Nature.
- Encourage local youth organisations to be involved and participate in local and national authorities.
YOUTH AND HEALTH EDUCATION
- Encourage and promote health education through workshops, conferences, seminars and research in specific areas of health knowledge and skills in the respective countries.
YOUTH AND POPULATION
- Recognizes the gravity of the growing population and its consequences on young people and recommends that youth be provided with assistance to ensure young people are adequately informed regarding population issues.
YOUTH AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
- Encourage the culture of volunteerism among youth.
- Encourages national governments and international organisations to continue working for an international economic order that will guarantee an equitable and transparent distribution of resources adequate to the provision of the basic necessities of life for youth.
PARTICIPATION OF WOMEN IN WAY
- Recognises again that representation of young women should be encouraged.
- Urges national youth organisations to develop strategies to ensure equal representation of women at the WAY General Assembly and on the WAY Executive Committee.
PEACE AND NON-VIOLENCE
- Recognizes that the years 2001-2010 has been identified by the United Nations as the Decade of the Culture of Peace and Non-Violence and mandates the Secretariat to organize programmes promoting peace throughout this decade.
YOUTH AND DRUG TRAFFICKING
- Encourage the use of information technology for networking and communication between WAY and member organisations.
- Support the provision of information technology or communication facilities for member organisations which may not have the essential resources for such assets.
RECOMMENDATION OF CHANGE TO WAY CHARTER
- The Development Commission recommends a change in Article II : “ AIMS” of the WAY Charter, as follows: “ WAY is established to create awareness on the needs and responsibilities of young people and to promote youth participation at all levels of society. As a global platform for youth organisations, WAY is dedicated to influence political decision-making on youth affairs at the international level, to facilitate co-operation and mutual exchange of experiences between its members and to promote the development of a civil society in their respective entities.”
The political commission recommends the following :-
PREAMBLE The commission recommends that the assembly resolves that:
- WAY in all its programmes and activities strives to transcend divisions in the world community on the basis of class, race, sex and any other such form of discrimination.
- Establishment of WAY as an International Youth Organization by taking into consideration following crucial concerns facing the world community and adding them to WAY Charter. Economic unbalance in the world resulting in “THIRD WORLD POVERTY”
Human Rights issues particularly the following:-
- Gender Issues, Indigenous communities
- Issues relating to youth and children
- Threat of globalisation, War, Evil and miseries
- Continued avocation for non-violence strategies for the resolution of major world crisis
- Promotion of religious and cultural tolerance particularly among youth of the world
Socio-economic issues :- The Assembly notes with pain that majority of the world communities are still living under very difficult socio-economic conditions. With regards the issue of :-
Health, Drug abuse, High rate of crime among youth, Lack of economic opportunities leading to poverty, Racism, Sexual abuse, Militarism.