Statement on International Youth Day 2009 (RYDF)

Date: August 12, 2009

Statement on the International Youth Day 2009
Sustainability: Our Challenge. Our Future.

We, at the Rohingya Youth Development Forum (RYDF) warmly salutes the 10th international youth day in 2009 in order to express strong solidarity with youth based forums in all over the world.

This special day has been observed every year since 2000, following a declaration made by the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) in 1999. This year, the theme is: “Sustainability: Our Challenge Our Future.” Achieving sustainability in the areas of environment, society and economy requires the adoption of a global sense of social responsibility; and as guardians of tomorrow’s world.

In fact, the youth forces are the most potential and active groups in the human society. They can play vital role to change the world into peaceful atmosphere from their different life including studentship. But, youth activities are mostly neglected and under estimated in various societies of undeveloped countries like Burma.

It is also clear that the young people everywhere– –are the key agents for social changes, economic development and technological innovation. They should live under conditions that encourage their imagination, ideals, energy and vision to flourish to the benefit of their societies.
In the paragraph of a statement on International Youth Day this year the United Nations Secretary General said “Young people often lead by example: practicing green and healthy lifestyles, or promoting innovative uses of new technologies, such as mobile devices and on-line social networks. They deserve our full commitment — full access to education, adequate healthcare, employment opportunities, financial services and full participation in public life. On International Youth Day, let us renew our pledge to support young people in their development. Sustainability is the most promising path forward, and youth can lead the way”.
“As part of a highly orchestrated and criminal government strategy to deny legitimate rights to the minorities, the State Peace & Development Council (SPDC) regime of Burma uses rape, humiliation, torture, arbitrary arrest, extra judicial killing, forced relocation, taxation, ethnic, religious and racial discrimination against the Rohingya people as weapons of war towards ethnic cleansing in Arakan State.

Mention may be made that the situation is not unique to the Rohingya and other ethnic minority groups like the Kuki, Naga, Pa-o, and Paloung and etc. in other parts of the country.

It is also true that the Rohingya people were even denied and deprived of their basic and fundamental rights to their citizenship in Burma. As a result, there are approximately four million Rohingyas of Burma who are the victims of statelessness. They have no land to stay or to claim their citizenship in the world, while their participation in Burmese democracy movement is regrettably objected to by some fellow countrymen’.

At the same time, the Rohingya youths in exile are languishing in various ways. They are living in deteriorating health, economic and social conditions in countries adjoining Burma. They also face a danger of forced deportation, extra-judicial killing, arbitrary arrest, and extortion. Their children are deprived of education, health and sanitation. They at notable risk of their lives in all walks because they do not have legal identity. Most of them are unemployed and uneducated. They have to fight for their survival while they are not given appropriate assistances and protection by the concerned quarters.

The RYDF believes that the International Community will pay attention to the issue of the Rohingya youths both in home and exile to provide adequate assistances and protection in order to achieve Millennium Development Goals, including the overarching goal of cutting poverty and hunger in half by 2015. They remain at the forefront of the fight against HIV/AIDS. And they bring fresh, innovative thinking to longstanding development concerns.

On the occasion of this International Youth Day in 2009, we, at the Rohingya Youth Development Forum (RYDF) urges upon the international community to provide necessary supports to the Rohingya youths in order to empower and develop them as they are very much in need of cooperation to adjust with International Standard Society.

To conclude: We also appeal to the United Nations Agencies and world bodies including European Union, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) the Government of United States and neighboring likes Governments of Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia to play a ‘meaningful’ role to protect the refugees and stateless Rohingya and to extend your cooperation to make special quota for Rohingya students and youths in all kinds of institutions particularly in educational fields and to make special arrangement for their travel documents for the welfare of this unfortunate Rohingyas.

Central Executive Committee
Rohingya Youth Development Forum (RYDF)

For further information please contact at: +60169794600/+60163094599

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