International Youth Day, on 12th August, is a day to remember the growing role of young people, locally and globally, and the importance of involving them in peace-making, achieving progress and prosperity, and giving them the opportunity to express their great potential. This day is a universal recognition that young people create the future and that it is their own. We therefore convey warmest greetings to the world’s youth on their day.
On this occasion, we salute Iraq’s youth, valuing their great role in striving to instil the values of love, peace and fraternity under difficult conditions and to confront attempts to consolidate sectarian identities and drag young people into wars and conflicts.
While young people in Iraq are suffering, no serious measures have been taken by successive governments to address their situation. Their aspirations and concerns have been totally ignored by the ruling groups whose only concern is maintaining power and influence.
However, Iraq’s youth have not hesitated to act, responding to the plight of the country and the suffering of the people. They are today out in the streets and squares, angry and resentful, protesting against poor services and deteriorating living conditions, and rejecting the spectre of unemployment which every graduate or professional person is facing. They are condemning the policies of economic dependence and subservience of the rulers to international diktat. All excuses by the latter can no longer hold after the largescale defeats inflicted on the terrorists by Iraqi youth, liberating the cities of Iraq and offering great sacrifices.
On International Youth Day, we renew our aspiration and determination to strive to enable young people to take part in decision-making and repairing the destruction wreaked by the enemies of life. We reiterate our demands to the relevant parties, in particular the Government and the Parliament, that are most responsible for tackling the crisis facing the country. The plight of young people among the war-wounded, the unemployed and the marginalised must be part of the plans by the state for human development and optimal utilisation of the energy possessed by Iraq’s youth.
On this day, we also reaffirm our common concerns as the world's youth. We therefore renew our commitment to the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY) as the framework that embodies the struggle of the world youth for peace, equality, development and democracy.
It is worth noting that the Iraqi Democratic Youth Federation (IDYF) has in recent years celebrated this occasion by organising a large festival in central Baghdad. But it is taking place under different conditions this year, as a number of young Iraqis have been killed in the streets during protests as a result of the bloody repression by the authorities and security forces. These repressive measures took place despite the peaceful nature of the protests and the fact that the right to free expression and peaceful demonstration is guaranteed by the Constitution. The IDYF has therefore cancelled this year's festival in honour of the martyrs and in solidarity and support of the protesting youth. It has decided that its branches would carry out activities in support of the demands of the masses of our people who are calling for political reform, eradicating corruption and providing services to the people.
Peace, security and prosperity for the youth of Iraq and the world
Glory to the martyrs of Iraq
Speedy recovery for the injured protesters
Glory to our homeland and victory for our people
Iraqi Democratic Youth Federation (IDYF)
Baghdad, 12 August 2018