The World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY) is an international youth organization, recognized by the United Nations as an international youth non-governmental organization.
It was founded in 1945, sixteen days after the formation of the United Nations, with the aim of uniting youths from around the globe for peace, friendship and solidarity among them, thereby fighting against, injustices, unemployment and imperialism.
President of the World Federation of Democratic Youth Nicolas Papademitriou is the incumbent President of the WFDY.
Republica Online’s Kulchand Phombo interviewed him during his Nepal visit on the occasion of the WFDY’s General Council Meeting-2018 held in Kathmandu recently.
Could you please introduce yourself?
I am Nicolas Papadimitriou from Cyprus and I am the President of the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY) representing youth organization in my country Cyprus (United Democratic Youth Organization (EDON). EDON is the youth organization of the progressive party of the working people in Cyprus.
When did you come to Nepal?
I came to Nepal on 21st of this month for the activities of the general council meeting of the World Federation of Democratic Youth.
What issues do you see among the Nepali youths and how can they be channelized to achieve the goal set by the WFDY.
The issues that we see among the Nepali youths, mainly, as far as we are informed, are they are deeply concerned about are employment. Not only, we really see that they have potential and passion in being active in the struggle of youths and the achievement that the youths can get through the organized struggle and organized action. And we also see that the Nepali youths are able to contribute to international brotherhood called WFDY to unite and gather youths in the surrounding areas for peace, friendship and solidarity and to end the imperialism. We understand that now the Nepali youth are waiting to see results and are expecting actions and policies by the new government. We can see the hope and courage in their eyes. Now we see that the unity was maintained through the two communist parties. Now just one. And they believe that this unity shall contribute to the development of the country. Until now it is not even a developing country. So they estimate that it must be a developing country. And through this development, there will be prosperity, progress and there will be infrastructures to be implemented for the improvement of the Nepali people.
In the 21st century, mighty countries are seen to be using different modus operandi such as diplomatic means rather than a direct military intervention to exploit natural resources of sovereign countries. How do you see these issues?
I disagree. If you say that there is no direct military intervention. There are still direct military interventions. We have example of Libya, example of Syria, example of Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s not a long time ago we had the intervention into Iraq. So there are still interventions. However, we consider that the imperialists have experiences after so many years. This system has an experience of counterattack and has an experience of counter-exploiting the natural resources. And it is true that they are found to be making different strategies and tactics, either through military means or imposing economic control or sanction on a country or either by destabilizing a country through an internal way by managing to finding internal allies that are even ready to betray their countries for the sake of their own profits and imperialist profits. So we can see that imperialists are more experienced and are able to make counter attacks. In part, it is our responsibility to study the way they intervene and the way they manage to exploit natural resources of the sovereign states against the people. Of course, we have countries that are able to make agreements and the agreements may be beneficial for both – the one that is investing and the other having natural resources. I think, mainly, it’s the responsibility to make people understand that their benefits are not with the one or the other imperial state but the benefits are with their own countries and with their own people and convince them that to protect their sovereignty and independence is their main goal.
Recently, the United States and its NATO allies carried out missile attacks against Syria and Israeli troops pounded Palestinian children and civilians. What initiations did you take to intervene in the attacks?
Firstly, when we learnt about the attacks, we made specific statements and sent them to the whole world condemning these actions, while providing the support and solidarity to the people of Syria and Palestinians. At the same time, we called for Syrians and the youths of all around the world, the members of WFDY to begin demonstration, we called it a week of demonstration. So we asked all the members of WFDY to demonstrate outside the US Embassies. Through this way I think we managed to promote that more problems, violence and crimes are being inflicted in Syria for so many years. We did the same in Palestine. We did call our members to start making campaigns to promote and increase the consciousness of the people of several countries toward the liberation of the Palestinians. We think that for Palestine especially we have to keep our efforts in the whole world to keep the problem at the highest level and managing the people to come out in the streets and trying to put pressure on the American embassies to make them understand that there is no other solution than the peaceful solution to the liberation of the Palestinians.
Iran and North Korea take denuclearization as a threat to their sovereignty while the international community wants them fully denuclearized and have been rendering efforts to this effect. What’s your take on it?
Let’s have a position in favor of global denuclearization. When we hear the news about denuclearization of DPRK, we say that we must not be unilateral. On the one hand we cannot control the US asking that DPRK should stop threat of nuclear weapons, and at the same time we have the NATO troops in the South Korean Republic to make war exercises. This is unfair and this is not helping peaceful negotiation in the country and the peninsula. We believe that the denuclearization must come in the global level that no country and no power should have nuclear weapons in their hands because nuclear weapons can destroy humanity.
It’s been almost 73 years since WFDY was established. It was formed on November 10, 1945, with certain objectives, 16 days after the formation of the United Nations. How far do you think the goals have been achieved?
For achieving the goal for example of overthrowing the imperialism, we say that we have to maintain unity among the youths at the global level abiding by the principles of anti-imperialist, peace, friendship and solidarity.
Finally, do you have any messages for the Nepali youths?
The messages that I would like pass on to the Nepali youths are they have to try to reach unity among them and try to work together in an organized way and collectively. Try to make youth policies and bring proposals to help the government to achieve their own rights. They don’t have to be sleepless, they have to be alert. They have to be critical sometimes and the youths have to be on the frontline. They have to do it with respect, patience and put their plans in order to succeed. I would like to ask the Nepali youths through their activities to promote the ideas of peace, friendship and solidarity internationally to end the imperialism.