IUS Update 


17th November

Where are we?

News & Contacts of the ES


25 Years of AASU

Calendar for Youth NGOs

Help the IUS

International Networking

ASAs new e-mail address

Students say "NO"

Sad anniversaries East Timor

ABSDFs 9th year of struggle

HR Award for Beko Kuti

Students in Nicaragua fight

Police & Students clash in Chile

Students on strike in Niger

500 000 on strike in Germany

Call for Submissions


17th November - International Students Day

On November 17th 1939 students resistance in the streets of Prague against Nazi occupation inspired the establishment of an anti-Nazi students coalition. In 1941 November 17th was declared International Students Day by the International Students Council in London which became the starting point of the founding of the International Union of Students - IUS.

We will never forget the Nazi atrocities. Given the significance of the alliance which defeated the Nazis, the courage that was taken by our predecessors in resisting nazism and fascism, the IUS has maintained the tradition of marking 17th November each year as the International Students Day.

The IUS throughout its history has consistently fought against all forms of discriminations, oppression and intolerance. Education has been placed at the centre of the struggle for democracy, the eradication of poverty, human as well as women's rights, sustainable development and peaceful coexistence.

As we celebrate 17th November in 1997 on the eve of the 21st century racism and xenophobia are still prevalent while religious intolerance and ethnic conflicts are costing lives of many people. Still poverty is a daily reality.

This years Human Development Report (HDR) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) states that "the number of people with incomes of less than $1 a day increased by almost 100 million to 1.3 billion between '87 and '93 - and the number appears to be still growing."

Although poverty has fallen in the past 50 years more than in the previous 500, a quarter of the world's people remain in severe poverty. "In a global economy of US$25 trillion, this is a scandal - reflecting shameful inequalities and inexcusable failures of national and international policy." Children, the aged and particularly women are disproportionately poor.

Neoliberal policies make it possible that the profits of transnational co-operations increase when simultaneously state budgets decrease. Subsequently education is under the thread of being privatised or commercialised to the disadvantage of the majority of people.

Therefore the HDR calls for a pro-poor growth where "Education for all" is a key priority which "needs to be achieved soon, not postponed for another generation".

This was and still is the key demand of the IUS being always part and parcel of this process.

Knowing that many unions undertook concrete actions and campaigns in their respective countries to mark the 17th November, we will be happy to receive your reports.

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Date 29/12/1997
Author: Ingo Jäger, Member of the Executive Secretariat
Email: Ingo.Jaeger@stud.uni-hannover.d