Secretariat. About participation of Soviet delegation in the International Youth Peace Forum in Helsinki; file includes 2 February report on the results (18 pp). [R 6 January 1981, St 244-11] Excerpts.
16 December 1980, No 01/1281
[Up to 600 delegates were expected from more than one hundred countries, including the international youth organisations of young social democrats, liberals, centrists, Christian democrats and other political tendencies, as well as representatives of the UN, UNESCO and UNCTAD and other bodies.]
At the same time, as a consequence of the wide spectrum of political forces taking part in preparations fro the Forum there have been attempts by individual organisations, above all conservative groups, to impose discuss during the Forum of the ‘violation’ of human rights in socialist countries, the situation in Afghanistan and Poland, etc, and to include among the participants a number of reactionary youth organisations. Such attempts did not receive the support of the overwhelming majority of organisations.
[It was better to prepare in good time “a positive political balance of forces through the participation of progressive youth organisations from the liberated countries”. “In view of their difficult material conditions” many of them required additional expenditure: to fly 110 delegates by Aeroflot from Moscow to Helsinki and back; to pay for up to 150 delegates to make the round trip by rail; “up to 18,000 hard-currency roubles to pay for the travel of delegates on routes that were not served by Aeroflot”; and also “to send a group of up to 15 Soviet simultaneous translators to Finland to work at the Forum”.]
[Pastukhov reported on the successes of the event, pp 13-18]
6 February 1981, 01/118
The overwhelming majority of speakers, including those representing social-democrat, centrist and liberal organisations spoke in favour of continuing the policy of détente, for the further limitation of strategic weapons, and gave a positive assessment of the contribution of the Soviet Union and
other socialist countries in assuring peace and security. They condemned NATO plans to deploy new medium-range nuclear missiles in a number of West Europe an States and sharply criticised the concept of a ‘limited’ nuclear war. Many delegates declared that the hegemonist policy of the Peking leadership was a threat to peace.
The behaviour at the Forum of representatives of the right-wing of the youth movement revealed their intention to undermine the cooperation that has grown up over the past decade between various political forces and, above all, to drag the social democrats and socialists away from joint actions with the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY) and the International Union of Students (IUS).
Relying on the WFDY and the IUS, the Soviet delegation took measures to isolate the right-wingers and to consolidate the Forum on an anti-militarist basis. This work was made more difficult by the Komsomol of the ‘Eurocommunist’ tendency (Italy, Japan, Sweden, Spain) who spoke out in opposition to Soviet military aid to Afghanistan. Member organisations of WFDY and the IUS from Asian, African and Latin American countries played a positive role in this discussion.
The most important initiatives of the Soviet Union and the fraternal countries of socialism were reflected in the final document, which was adopted unanimously by the Forum participants.
The preparations were helped by an intensification of joint protests for peace by youth and students at the national and international levels. In Finland the preparatory work is being carried out by the National Committee of Youth Organisations, supported by the President of the Finnish Republic, U.K. Kekkonen.
Translation, John Crowfoot