Conclusions of the Middle East and North Africa Youth Conference

After two days of intense exchanges and discussions, the Middle East and North Africa Youth conference, initiated by the Middle East Youth Initiative, is now over. The different organizations concluded the conference by a strong and unified call.

As the youth of the Middle East and North Africa, today we are facing the most difficult systemic crisis. With every day that goes by, wars and conflicts spread everywhere in the Middle East, nationalism and religious fanaticism lead to the genocide of peoples and at the same time closes the door to the unity of peoples leading also to the nature and riches of the region being looted and exploited. The system of Capitalist Modernity in its existence of 500 years has not brought anything to the people and youth of the Middle East except for betrayal, war, conflict, division of communities, oppression, and looting, and today the youth of the region are deprived of their rights and deprived of a free future.

The results of this can be seen and felt everywhere: immigration and demographic change, femicides, violence and the development of paramilitary forces that terrorize the people of the region in the service of this system and finally helplessness in the face of the current crisis. The reality is that neither the current regime and states nor the global forces that want to impose a new design on the region with their interventions can find a way out of this chaos and crisis. We should not deceive ourselves with foreign allies: the people of the region will develop their own unity, rely on their own strength and in this way they will be able to create a solution. Today, the youth of the Middle East and North Africa are organizing themselves and struggle for a free and fair future.

Youth means the search for truth, the search for solutions and the role of vanguards for the freedom of their communities. In order to be able to clarify the current issues together, determine the ways and methods of struggle and create the necessary solutions, we have come together under the banner of the Middle East and North Africa Youth Initiative, between June 8 and 9, in the city of Beirut, Lebanon. As 95 young people, from 15 countries and 24 organizations, movements and political parties, we define 11 points:

1. The solution to the current crisis can only be implemented outside the system of capitalist modernity and by building a democratic Middle East.

2. Capitalist modernity with all its ramifications cannot be a solution to the current problems. All projects imposed on the region from outside, such as the “Greater Middle East” project and its counterpart, political Islam, must be opposed and an intellectual, political and social struggle must be waged.

3. Our conference rejects all positions and views that seek solutions from outside, with an orientalist view of the Middle East as small and not seeing the power of the solution within itself. Instead, it sees the youth as the most dynamic force of change and revival.

4. Our conference has come to the conclusion that all historical differences, aspects of language, culture, traditions, nations and beliefs, as well as the problems of the people of the Middle East and North Africa are interlinked. Therefore, in order for the youth to be able to become a force for development and solutions, it is urgent to form a strong unity.

5. In order to achieve this unification of forces and to take concrete steps towards the confederalization of the youth of the Middle East and North Africa, our conference has elected and mandated a coordination consisting of representatives of all organizations.

6. Our conference considers the enslavement of women and the authority of men over women as the most fundamental and important problem and states that young women are the leading force of democratization in the Middle East.

7. Our conference does not see nation-state projects as a solution, which only set people and regional religions and beliefs against each other, deny their existence and are the most fundamental obstacle to common and democratic life. Instead, we refer to the project of the democratic nation, which defends the right of all components of the region to determine their own destiny.

8. Our conference rejects the interpretations that label the people’s legitimate struggles as “terrorism” and declares that every society has the right to defend its legitimacy against all forms of occupation and oppression.

9. We are against capitalism and its ideology of liberalism, which divides society on the basis of a false understanding of “freedom” and promotes individualism, distracting the youth from their duties to their land and people. We are against patriarchy and the plundering of nature, the destruction of the environment and all forms of oppression based on gender, identity, religion, language and nationality.

10. Our conference regards the occupation policy of the Turkish state, which is being developed in the service of the interests of the forces of capitalist modernity from Libya to the Caucasus, Yemen and Kurdistan, as the common enemy of all the peoples of the Middle East and North Africa, and on this basis supports the common struggle of the Kurdish people and the peoples of the region.

11. Our conference condemns the occupation of Israel and the massacre of the Palestinian people, regards the Palestinian people’s struggle for freedom as legitimate and rejects any project that sets the Jewish people and the Palestinian people against each other.

Middle East and North Africa Youth Conference. Beirut, Liban. 09/06/2024.

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