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ANC Youth League applauds South African Youth for hosting a successful 17th World Festival of Youth and Students

22 December 2010

The African National Congress Youth League applauds all South African youth who partook in preparations and activities of the 17th World Festival of Youth and Students between the 14th and 21st of December 2010. The Youth League specifically applauds the National Preparatory Committee (NPC), the National Youth Development Agency, World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY) South African government, Tshwane Municipality and all who partook, because once again they demonstrated to the world that South Africa is alive with possibilities. As youth we should be proud that amongst us exists capacity to host a massive world activity that brings youth of the world to discuss how we build a world of peace, solidarity and social transformation.

The ANC Youth League is particularly proud of the success of the 17th World Festival of Youth and Students, because such pays tribute to Ruth First, who attended the launching Congress of the World Federation of Democratic Youth in London in 1945. It also pays a tribute to Walter Sisulu and Duma Nokwe, who in 1949 attended the 2nd World Festival of Youth and Students under the theme "Youth Unite, forward for lasting Peace, Democracy, National Independence and a better future for the peoples". The success of the 17thWorld Festival of Youth and Students also pays tribute to many struggle stalwarts, particularly Ahmed Kathrada who worked within WFDY to mobilise the world against apartheid repression.

Throughout its existence, WFDY and the World Festival movement have been platforms to advocate for peace in South Africa and liberation even when conditions were extremely difficult under the racist apartheid regime. Those who supported apartheid will never appreciate the contribution of WFDY and the World Youth and Students festival movement because the defeat of apartheid and what it represents does not sit well with them. The struggle against imperialism is a new struggle, particularly for countries that were previously under colonial domination and the youth of South Africa was presented a noble, rare opportunity to understand the struggles against imperialism between the 13th and 21st of December 2010.

The 17th World Festival of Youth and Students also provided an ample, rare opportunity for the youth of South Africa to have developmental relations, bilaterals and interactions with the youth of the world. These included bilaterals and agreements with the youth of Cuba, Angola, China, Vietnam, Democratic People`s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on issues of education, skills exchange, sports development and political relations. The World Festival opened up many opportunities, which will lead to sustainable empowerment of South African youth and present space for what the ANC Youth League has called for—massive training of the country`s youth across the world. Those who decry the fact that South African government supported the 17th World Festival of Youth and Students do not appreciate South Africa`s history, but also visionless.

The ANC Youth League is more than proud that South Africa hosted the 17thWorld Festival of Youth and Students and will live to cherish the fruits which our country will harvest out of hosting this festival. When two youth who subsequently became Secretaries General of the ANC, Walter Sisulu and Duma Nokwe attended the 2nd World Festival of Youth and Students in 1949, some people were opposed, but such planted the seed of the international solidarity movement against apartheid repression, which led to the defeat of apartheid.

Issued by the ANC Youth League