Conference Recommendations

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR GOVERNMENTS AND CIVIL SOCIETY 

OUTCOME OF “YOUTH FOR DEMOCRACY”

 

1. NON-VIOLENT ACTION IS MORE EFFECTIVE THAN VIOLENT ACTION AND MORE LIKELY TO LEAD TO SUSTAINABLE CHANGE AND STABLE DEMOCRACY

RECOMMENDATION: Governments and civil society should promote research, education at all levels and especially at university level, awareness, financial support and advocacy on non-violent activism. The conference encourages the appointment of a special rapporteur at UN for nonviolent movements and that donor governments create opportunities for the funding and establishment of a specialized institute for the support of non-violent movements in authoritarian regimes. Further, governments should improve access to visas and support of exiled individuals.

 

2. SPONTANEOUS NON-VIOLENT CAMPAIGNS WITHOUT STRONG STRATEGIES AND PLANNING OFTEN FAIL 

RECOMMENDATION: Democratic activists and external supporters must ensure that commitment and grassroots spontaneity are combined with thorough strategic planning and dynamic tactical skills.

 

3. PLANNING FOR THE DAY AFTER THE DICTATORSHIP ENDS IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS PLANNING TO END THE DICTATORSHIP

RECOMMENDATION: Governments and civil society should "stay on course" and strongly support democratic movements after regimes fall and the international spotlight goes away.

 

4.  NON-VIOLENT ACTIVISTS CAN LEARN FROM AND BE INSPIRED BY EACH OTHER'S STRUGGLES

RECOMMENDATION: Governments should actively support the creation of platforms, where nonviolent democratic movements can engage and civil society organizations should build strong networks of non-violent activists, encourage knowledge exchange, support activist trainings, and finance the translation of activist tools, which can be made available for download free of charge.

 

5. OPPOSITION MOMENTS CANNOT SUCCEED WITHOUT UNITY

RECOMMENDATION: Governments and civil society should encourage different opposition stakeholders and political actors to unite around their similarities and to respect their differences within a uniting framework.

 

6. INDEPENDENT MEDIA CREATES THE SPACE FOR NON-VIOLENT MOVEMENTS TO GROW

RECOMMENDATION: Governments and civil society should be strong advocates for a free press within authoritarian regimes and work to provide open access for international media.

 

7. ACTIVISTS REQUIRE SAFE AND SECURE COMMUNICATION TOOLS

RECOMMENDATION: Civil society should provide anonymity for non-violent activists through safe and untraceable tools online, and train activists in their use.

 

8. SOCIAL MEDIA CAN TRULY HELP BUILD MOVEMENTS - BUT YOU CAN'T CLICK YOUR WAY TO DEMOCRACY

RECOMMENDATION: Civil society should not overestimate the power of social media. How to put social media to the best use in non-violent struggles and educate the youth in the importance of organizing should be a topic of research. 

 

9. ACTIVISTS NEED TO SEEK OUT WHAT THEY WANT FROM THEIR EXTERNAL PARTNERS - AND NOT JUST TAKE WHAT THEIR PARTNERS WANT TO OFFER

RECOMMENDATION: Governments and civil society need to find out what activists truly need by engaging in a continuing dialogue with activists.

 

10. GLOBAL SOLIDARITY MATTERS TO LOCAL NON-VIOLENT MOVEMENTS

RECOMMENDATION: Civil society organizations that are not located in the country in question should demonstrate and broadcast their support for non-violent movements. Governments should crack down on moral hypocrisies, i.e. national champion industries providing tools, technology and arms to oppressing regimes. The CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Charter, which is part of the UN Global Compact policy initiative for businesses, should be more widely acknowledged and adhered to. 

 

Download recommendations for Governments and civil society organizations.