On May 24, under the heading of “Cooperation for Democracy and Development,” the opening ceremony of the International Union of Social Youth’s (IUSY) Black Sea Area Cooperation meeting took place in Yerevan. Over 35 representatives from such countries as Moldova, Ukraine, Sweden, Spain, Greece, Iran, Cyprus, Canada, Syria, Georgia, Karabagh, and Armenia took part in the gathering.
With its junior, youth, and student associations in Armenia and 17 other countries throughout the world, the AYF is a full member of the IUSY. It served as the official host of this year’s four-day Black Sea Area Cooperation conference, which discussed regional issues related to political stability, democracy, and economic development.
In his opening remarks to the delegates, Artak Zargaryan, secretary of the ARF Youth Office in Yerevan, stated that “Despite having a 119-year history, the ARF continues to remain young,” noting how even the founders of the ARF were themselves in their youth. “If there is social injustice in our nation,” continued Zargaryan, “that is where the ARF youth have work to do. If the Armenian Cause is not brought to a just resolution, the ARF youth have work to do.” Directly addressing the regional issues facing the assembly, he proclaimed, “The time has come to put to rest antagonisms and begin working toward development and stability.”
Dmitri Tskidishvili of the IUSY governing body also took to the floor, offering his appreciation to the AYF for hosting the meeting and transferring his message to the audience. “Our movement is increasingly gathering strength,” said Tskisdishvili, who is a member of the Union of Socialist Youth in Georgia, “and all of us must put our energy into that effort. This gathering is part of a broader series of international discussions, and we hope they are all crowned with success.”
The IUSY was also represented by its general secretary, Johan Hassel from Sweden, who reminded the delegates about the dire financial situation gripping the world. “The world is divided into the wealthy and the poor,” said Hassel. “Currently, we have our programs for eliminating poverty and unstable development. We wish to see these programs realized so that all members of society can enjoy the same level of basic security.”
One of the vice presidents of the Socialist International and a member of the ARF in Armenia, Maria Titizian, also welcomed the delegates to Yerevan and noted that the meeting is yet another important opportunity to exchange ideas and solidify them as political principles.
She was followed by the ARF candidate for Yerevan’s mayoral elections Artzvik Minasyan. After welcoming the participants, Minasyan concluded by stating, “As a consequence of capitalism, the right to an equal and harmonious life has been put at risk for many, and this is one of the principal reasons why we place such importance in succeeding in the upcoming elections.”
IUSY is the youth counterpart to the Socialist International and is made up of 148 socialist, social democratic, and labor youth and student organizations from 100 countries all around the world. Its goal is to enhance principles of democratic socialism, international solidarity, equality, human rights, and social justice.
For more information about IUSY, visit www.IUSY.info.