Declaration of Principles

As adopted at the IYDU Foundation Meeting in Washington DC, USA in March 1991, amended at the 2nd IYDU Council Meeting in Athens, Greece in 1994 and further amended at the 4th Council Meeting of the IYDU in Litchfield, Connecticut, USA on 5th August 2001.

The undersigned chairmen or leaders of Conservative, Christian Democrat and like-minded youth organisations:

HAVING REGARD to their common convictions that democratic societies provide individuals throughout the world with the best conditions for political liberty, personal freedom, equality of opportunity and economic development under the rule of law, and therefore:

BEING COMMITTED to advancing the social and political values on which democratic societies are founded;

STRESSING our commitment to the promotion of basic personal freedoms and human rights secured by private property rights and in particular, the rights of free speech, organisation, assembly and non-violent dissent; the right to free and fair elections and the freedom to organize effective parliamentary opposition to government; the right to a free and independent media; the right to religious belief; and the right to equality before the law;

OPPOSING the use of violence, imprisonment, forced exile and confiscation of property as a means of achieving political objectives;

HAVING REGARD to their common beliefs in an open society, where power is dispersed widely amongst free institutions, dedicated to creating conditions that will enable each individual to reach his full potential and to carry out his responsibilities to his fellow men; and where the central task of government is to serve the individual and to safeguard and promote individual freedom;

STRESSING the moral commitments of a free and open society, supporting the institutions of the family as its fundamental social and cohesive force, as well as social responsibility towards the weak and less fortunate, particularly by encouraging self-help and individual enterprise and choice in the provision of services;

HAVING REGARD to their common views that political democracy and private property are inseparable components of individual liberty and that the free market economy provide the best means of creating the wealth and material prosperity to meet the legitimate aspirations of individuals, and of tackling social evils such as unemployment and inflation;

BELIEVING that this is the most effective and beneficial way of providing individual initiative and enterprise, responsible economic development, employment opportunities, low taxation and consumer choice;

HAVING REGARD to the threats imposed by oppressive ideologies;

REJECTING any form of totalitarianism, which brings so much suffering and restricts so many freedoms today;

HAVING REGARD to the important global tasks which render necessary and desirable a closer and efficient collaboration of their organisations, inspired by their common convictions;

PLEDGING THEMSELVES to work towards closer co-operation among all the peoples of democratic nations, while recognizing the right of each individual nation to preserve its identity and to safeguard its vital interests, to use their influence and above all their political values for the greater good of the world, especially by promoting the mutual responsibilities of all nations for global economic development;

DECLARE their dedication to a just and lasting peace and freedom throughout the world; and

FURTHER DECLARE that the cause of peace will be advanced by adherence to the principles expressed in this Declaration; and in

ACTIVELY INVITING other organisations to subscribe to them;

AGREE to create a working association in pursuance of their common beliefs, hereinafter referred to as the INTERNATIONAL YOUNG DEMOCRAT UNION (IYDU).