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Before the Collapse of the International Union of Students (IUS), 1997-2002

This is a collection of reports and circular Letters prepared by the IUS in the period 1997-2002 before the collapse of the organisation.

Before the Collapse of the International Union of Students (IUS), 1997-2002

IUS News post on just finished World Student Congress: Prioritises Access To Public Education, 2002

World Student Congress: Prioritises Access To Public Education

Accra - An international gathering of student organisations has ended its second World Student Congress today with a strong commitment to mobilising students around the world in defense of access to public education.

Participants in the event include representatives from the AASU, the IUS, the United States Student Association (USSA), the International Youth and Student Movement for the United Nations (ISMUN), the Asian Students' Association (ASA), the Continental Organization of Latin American and Caribbean Students (OCLAE), and the National Unions of Students in Europe (ESIB). Participation was facilitated through both in-person meetings and use of information technology to include input from all regions.

The event, called by the International Union of Students (IUS) and hosted by the All Africa Student Union (AASU), was a meeting of the regional students' organisations from around the world, and the IUS.

"AASU is pleased to have hosted this important world event," stated Ogunlana Oludare, Secretary General of the All Africa Students Union, "The global, mass-based student movement has always played a unique role in holding our governments accountable and contributing to United Nations processes.

Now we are ready to consolidate our efforts to hold undemocratic global decision-making forums, such as the World Trade Organization, accountable."

The first World Student Congress was held in October 2000 in Geneva, Switzerland. At that event, student leaders focused on follow-up from the 1998 World Conference on Higher Education of the United Nations' Educational, Science and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

Last week, the organisations met once again to share information, strategise, identify shared concerns and develop common programmes, on issues ranging

from the latest United Nations events and campaigns, to HIV/AIDS awareness among students and the impact of trade liberalisation on access to higher education.

Added Elizabeth Carlyle, spokesperson for the International Union of Students: "Transnational corporate rule poses a serious threat to democracy and development, and more and more students' unions are organising to confront this issue.

The trend in higher education worldwide has been to privatise many aspects of higher education and to abandon the goal of universal access to university and college. The World Student Congress is a valuable contribution to reversing that trend and to preserving and promoting a global commons in which human rights are not sacrificed in the name of corporate profit."

During the event, students met with a representative of UNESCO, to discuss their concerns about privatisation and commodification of higher education, and to call for greater co-operation between the student groups and the United Nations system. Delegates also discussed many upcoming student events, including the October 31, 2002 Hemispheric Day of Action Against the Free Trade Area of the Americas and other events to mark November 17, International Students' Day.

Results of the Second World Student Congress include a final declaration, plan of action, and agreements for future activities.
Those wishing to receive a copy of these documents may contact
Ogunlana Oludare, Secretary General of AASU at 024-233-092 or
or email the International Union of Students at

First Circular Letter on the preparation for the 17th Congress by the IUS Executive Secretariat, April 1999

Circular Letter of the IUS Executive Secretariat, April 1999

To: All Member Unions
Dear friends,
Re. IUS Constitutional Event
Council and Congress

The Executive Secretariat (ES) of the International Union of Students (IUS) is happy to extend warm and fraternal greetings to all member unions. We would like to update you on very important issues pertaining to the organization presently.

For some time now, a number of consultations have been taking place around the crippling problems of the IUS and their relation to a lack of a constitutional event since 1992. Some of these consultations took place in Brussels, Vienna, and Havana to mention but a few. The most recent case was in October 1998 when the ES had the opportunity to meet with a good number of member unions in Paris during the UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education. At that Conference a consultative meeting was held at which a number of issues were discussed and some recommendations made. Once again, the main issue in the discussions amongst the member unions which were represented in Paris concerned an IUS constitutional event.

We are all aware of the fact that since the 16th Congress which took place in 1992 in Lanarca-Cyprus it has been difficult for the organization to pull off a constitutional event, be a Council or a Congress.

It should, however, be recalled that between 1992 and today many attempts have been made without the desired success. This was the case of Brazil in 1993, the Netherlands in 1994 and also South Africa in 1995. All these attempts woefully failed because of the continuing financial limitations of the IUS and the inability of the then host organizations to adequately fund the event.

Despite the different failures and all the problems that have been afflicting the organization, remaining ES members have always placed a constitutional event at the top of the agenda. With the encouraging support of some member unions we have continued to indefatigably explore every possible avenue to bring member unions together around a constitutional event where mutual problems can be seriously debated with productive conclusions.

At the time of the Conference in Paris the ES had received two offers for hosting the Council or Congress. These offers had come from UNEA-Algeria and GUGJS-Libya. The consultative meeting, upon sober reflection, recommended that the Council and Congress take place in Libya some time in 1999.

Shortly after Paris, however, two other offers were received from the CUSA-Colombia and UNEF-France expressing similar interests.

In the circumstances, and the recommendation of the consultative meeting in Paris notwithstanding, the ES was obliged to set new deadlines to allow CUSA -Columbia and UNEF -France to submit their offers concretely. Up until today the ES has not received any concrete offer in writing from UNEF-France. In the case of CUSA-Columbia a concrete offer did indeed reach the ES.

The result has been that the ES was finally left with the offers of Libya and Columbia. Upon serious reflection and a number of considerations the ES eventually decided that the Council and Congress be held in Libya.

Why Libya?

A lot of time has passed between 1992 and 1999, and quite clearly time is not on our side. We had to make a choice between the two offers available and of these two the Libyan offer had the following comparative advantages:

  • Firstly, the offer from Libya budgeted for the two events (Council and Congress) with funds already allocated
  • Secondly, the GUGJS-Libya promised to financially assist needy member unions, ES members, and technical staff in their international travel to Libya;
  • Thirdly and equally importantly, they pledged to assist the ES financially in its preparations from the Headquarters.

For further details the two offers are available upon request.

It is stipulated that these two events will take place one after the other in the last quarter of this year. The exact date is yet to be finalized between the ES and GUGJS-Libya. Do rest assured that you will be duly informed of the final decision as regards the date.

In taking this decision the ES is aware of reservations exercised by some member unions about an IUS event in Libya. It should be recognized, however, that GUGJS-Libya is a full member of the IUS and the chair organization of the IUS Constitutional Committee for that matter. In this light and in the light of their comparatively advantageous offer, the ES could not be any more or less objective.

Having the Council and Congress itself is highly constructive from every point of view for the IUS and its future. At the same time we believe that these constitutional events are not an end but a means for injecting a new life into our mutual organization. We are, therefore, hopeful that every member union will locate a priority place for the IUS and the Council and Congress on their respective agendas as we prepare to go to Libya.

How should member unions get involved?

We should particularly like to request of member unions the following modest support:

  • Keeping a Constant flow of information with the ES on every opinion about the future of the IUS. Indeed, we entreat each and every member union to communicate regularly with the headquarters, more than ever before in fact, as we enter into this landmark phase of preparing for the two most important events of the organization;
  • Developing perspectives for political, constitutional and financial reform of the IUS. Please, we should like to receive such perspectives to enrich preparations of working documents;
  • Paying up membership fees prior to the Council and Congress in the case where this has not already been done. You are advised to make all payments by certified cheque.
  • Fundraising! Preparing for the Council and Congress in this financially unsound stage for the organization requires all of us to do a little more to ensure memorable and productive outcomes; besides the financial support the host organization is pledging, there is a definite need to fundraise at your national levels to boost support for the preparations, international travel of others who otherwise cannot make it, and the Council and Congress expenses in general.

Obviously, and needless to say, the tasks are great, and the difficulties confront us everywhere, but with the understanding, commitment and cooperation of each and every one of us, we can put the IUS back in its rightful place. We are counting heavily on your understanding and cooperation.

Thank you and stay tuned.

In solidarity,

The Executive Secretariat

International Union of Students

You may reach us on the IUS address which is the following:

International Union of Students
17th November Street
P.O.Box 58
110 01 Prague 1
Czech Republic
Tel. and Fax: +420-2-71731257

Report on the Informal Meeting on the IUS in Havana/Cuba, August 1, 1997

Report of the Executive Secretariat on the Informal Meeting on the International Union of Students (IUS)

Havana, August 1st 1997

Dear friends,

As you might all recall this meeting came as a follow up to a series of others which had already taken place amongst some member unions within the framework of searching for solutions to the various problems that have been confronting the IUS. It was held during the 14th World Festival of Youth and Students which took place in Havana, Cuba from July 28th - August 5th 1997. Notwithstanding the problems related to contacts and coordination between the Executive Secretariat and member unions the meeting was still attended by a considerable number of member and friendly unions.

The Course of the Meeting

The meeting was divided into morning and afternoon sessions. At the start of the deliberations in the morning the president of FEU / Cuba delivered his welcoming message expressing the importance of international cooperation between students and the urgency of a constitutional event to take place in the near future.

Afterwards a brief presentation of the history of the organisation was made by a member of the immediate past Secretariat before the 16th Congress in 1992. Thereafter the Executive Secretariat gave a brief overview of the current situation and its development based on a working document which had been prepared and distributed to participants by the Executive Secretariat. After these two presentations questions and clarifications took place followed by a discussion throughout the morning and afternoon sessions.

Conclusions of the Meeting

From the discussion that took place it was acknowledged by most participants that the IUS has been going through the most challenging period of its history arising mainly from financial crisis that have virtually crippled both organisational as well as political activities. In this regard, the very realisation of the noble objectives of the IUS, which constitute the cornerstone of the organisation, has been painfully difficult and of immense concern to participants. There was unanimity in agreeing that, more than ever before, there exists an urgent need for revitalising the IUS as the only international organisation which rallies together national union of students from across the globe on issues of mutual concern. In light of that the following proposals were considered:

  1. Constitutional EventsFEUQ / Quebec proposed to host the 17th Congress of the IUS. In their estimation May 1998 was tentatively suggested as the earliest it could take place. The IUS member unions in Canada are expected to be working together in order to come out with a concrete and definitive offer to be made to the Executive Secretariat.The member unions coming from India did also give indication of the possibility of hosting a constitutional event in their country and are similarly expected to make their confirmation in written to the Executive Secretariat.All other member unions that are willing to consider at a later stage the possibility of hosting a constitutional event of the IUS are welcome to make an offer. All offers or confirmations would however have to be submitted to the Executive Secretariat by the end of 1997.
  2. Coordination and CommunicationIn order to ensure the smooth running of activities and to guarantee regular flow of information in the process of organising a successful constitutional event that involves all member unions directly the following suggestions were advanced:
    1. That the Regional Consultative Platforms (RCPs) together with the Executive Secretariat and the hosting organisation should cooperate closely to ensure productive preparatory process such as regarding fundraising, logistics, distribution of information, etc. Any other member union that has the possibilities and willingness to assist in this process may contact the Executive Secretariat accordingly.
    2. That cooperation with other International and Regional organisations ought to be emphasised especially in this wake of globalisation and neoliberalism. That cooperation between the IUS and Regional Student Organisations in particular must be given special attention for strengthening the bonds that unite us in the fields of students interests and activities. In the run up toward organising an IUS constitutional event it would be very much welcome to receive the support of the regional student organisations in the supreme interest of achieving a successful event.
    3. A support committee should be established to accompany and facilitate the process leading to the 17th Congress. This committee should be composed of the IUS Executive as well as its respective unions. Additionally it is open to the regional student organisations, like AASU, ASA, ESIB, GUAS and OCLAE in alphabetic order, as well as interested unions and organisations.
  3. FinancesIt was clearly understood that the ongoing and rather acute lack of financial resources has been at the centre of the crisis facing the IUS. For tackling this problem the meeting arrived at the following considerations: 
    1. That member unions should for once commit themselves to paying their membership fees in whole or partially in accordance with their immediate possibilities,
    2. That besides the membership fees donations in cash or kind from member and friendly unions should be given urgent consideration,
    3. That fundraising should be the collective task of all member unions in order to help with the daily administrative demands of the organisation as well as for ensuring that a constitutional event does take place,
    4. That regarding the use of the Administrative Building in Prague member unions should endeavour to assist the Executive Secretariat in finding prospective investors from within their respective countries for the purpose of income generation. That aside, any financial contribution toward the mitigation of debts around the building would as well assist in securing the building from the possibility of receivership.
    5. That member unions which have a close working relationship with the Board of the International Students Travel Confederation (ISTC) should bring their influence to bear on them to help resolve the stalemate that exists between the IUS and the ISTC.


The 14th World Festival of Youth and Students did provide a much desired opportunity for revisiting the IUS and the cause of students in the rapidly changing world of our time. During this meeting the participants showed critical enthusiasm and rededication to the IUS and all it stands for. It is therefore hoped that all of us including those member unions which were unfortunately absent from the said meeting would work tirelessly for achieving the conclusions outlined in the above.

From now onwards until the next Congress member unions are also expected to locate a place for the IUS on their respective agenda and to give a serious thought to the reconstructuring of the organisation in order to make it more effective and efficient in its ability to deliver the goals for which it was founded. The reconstructuring which should embrace all aspects such as organisational, political, financial and otherwise would deserve indepth analysis and thorough discussion.

Finally, we would like to reiterate our profound gratitude to the organisers of the Festival for thoughtfully providing us with the opportunity to meet and place the IUS for discussion. We also remain very grateful to all participants for their diverse contributions, and hopefully we would be hearing from each and everyone about initiatives you must have already started to undertake in respect of the conclusions reached in Havana. And please, should you require any further information or clarifications do not hesitate to contact us on any of the following:

Address: International Union of Students
17th November Street
P.O.Box 58
110 01 Prague 01
Czech Republic
Homepage URL:
Tel/Fax: +420 - 2 -71731257 (Zakaria Abdourahamane & Samwin Banienuba)
Tel: +49-511-632997 (Ingo Jäger)
Fax: +49-511-717441
Tel: +1-613-232 7394 (JenniferStory)
Fax: +1-613-232 0276

Thank You !!!

Please, we kindly request you to keep us informed of changes that may take place in your contact addresses and/or telephone, fax numbers and electronic facilities to enable us to update our mailing list.


We wish to take this opportunity to remind member unions of the Executive Secretariat and RCPs of the composition as established by the 16th Congress.

The Executive Secretariat:
(only the elected unions)
NUIS / India SASCO / South Africa UNEN / Nicaragua
NSU / Niger GUPS / Palestine FUA / Argentina CFS / Canada
PNGNUS / Papua New Guinea NUGS / Ghana BSU / Bangladesh FZS / Germany
NUSS / Syria FEU / Cuba

Regional Consultative Platforms RCPs:

African Consultative Platform (AFCOP)
NUGS / Ghana – Chair Organisation
FNEB / Benin, UNEC / Congo, Rep. NUEY / Eritrea, LINSU / Liberia,
KDTM / Madagascar, AEU / Mozambique, NANSO / Namibia, UGET / Tunisia

Asia and Pacific Consultative Platform (ASPACOP)
BSU – Chair Organisation
NUBS / Bahrain, USPSA / Fiji, KSC / Korea DPR, KSSE / Kurdistan
NNFS / Nepal UNEV / Vietnam

Consultative Platform on Europe, North America and other Industrialised Countries (CENAC)
FZS / Germany – Chair Organisation
LSVB / The Netherlands, ZSP / Poland, UNIS / Romania

Latin America and Caribbean Consultative Platform (LACC)
FEU / Cuba – Chair Organisation
CUB / Bolivia, FEUCR / Costa Rica, JUTS / Jamaica, UEP / Paraguay,
FUPI / Puerto Rico

Middle East and Arab Consultative Platform (MEAC)
NUSS / Syria – Chair Organisation
GUSIR / Iraq, NUOS / Oman, SSC / Yemen

Paper on the Informal Meeting on the IUS by the Executive Secretariat, August 1997

Paper on the Informal Meeting on the International Union of Students (I.U.S)

August 1997 Havana-Cuba

Presented by the Executive Secretariat E.S. of the International Union of Students


The purpose of this paper is not to present a report of activities of the E.S. It follows previous consultations and attempts to present an overview of the current situation and how it developed - Our aim is to acquaint member and friendly unions once again with a clear picture of he current realities in order that we may all together find relevant and concrete solutions to the various problems confronting the I.U.S today - In this way we hope we would be saving or revitalising our mutual organisation.

I. Current Situation and its Development.

In previous Contacts and Communications we have time and again explained how the I.U.S reached the present situation. It s worth reiterating that as a result of lack of any income generation activities since the 16th. Congress the organisation could not sustain itself for long. Where as expenditure on administrative, organisational and maintenance activities was a daily phenomenon there was very little or no income at all at some point in the course of time.

As we gather here to discuss the life of the I.U.S one can say that it’s in a very bad shape financially. The consequences of such a scenario are obvious and well known to most of us. For instance, it has become very difficult for the

II. Palliative measures undertaken by the E.S.

As we may all agree the situation has been crucial and critical and the remaining E.S. members have been working in an extremely difficult environment. Nevertheless, in order to keep things going some stopgap measures have been sought for keeping up limited communication, attending pertinent events within the United Nations system in general and UNESCO in particular as well as initiating consultations and contacts between the E.S. and member unions whenever possible. Information on the I.U.S has also been made available on the Internet. It s worth mentioning the support the E.S. has enjoyed in these difficult times from some member Unions Such as F.Z.S - Germany, F.E.U.Q - Quebec, G.C.S.G.J - Libya, N.U.S.S - Syria to name but a few.

III. Perspectives

It s important to underline that the E.S. has been working in a way that will deal with the situation in order to provide sustainable solutions. In this regard, we would like to submit the following perspectives with the hope and believe that the biggest role is to be played by member unions present here or absent. This is because the future of the organisation depends more on the seriousness and promptness with which member and friendly unions would respond to the crisis. Given the importance of this particular moment in time we do expect that now more than ever be fore our member unions would hold the bull by the horns if we are to succeed.

IV. On the Administrative Building A-B

In the past the E.S. managed to strike a deal on a lease and purchase project with a company in Prague - However, because of a lack of fulfilment of Contractual obligations on the part of the company the E.S. finally had to withdraw from the contract. Presently the E.S. has widened the scope to include every alternative income generating project and we are working with legal and financial experts to guarantee the interests of the organisation in the event of a new deal. In broadening this scope we are also exploring both from within Prague and outside. For this matter we do request the assistance of member unions to help achieve something in this regard and soon.

Meanwhile, we have to point out that there exists the threat of receivership on the building as a result of failure to meet a range of financial obligations in Prague. This makes the search for solutions an urgency requiring the support of every one concerned about the future of the I.U.S.

V. On urgent measures

In order to alleviate the effects of the crisis on the daily activities of the organisation as regards creating minimum financial conditions for the remaining E.S. members and guaranteeing smooth administrative work it has become urgent and imperative for member unions to commit to pay up their dues (a great number of them have not met their financial obligations since 1992). Besides membership fees member and friendly unions should as well understand that the situation calls for other forms of financial and material assistance. In the past up until the recent time many promises were made but implementation of these promises never took place.

financial basis - While trying to avoid the past experiences it has become urgent that all member unions commit themselves for a Council or Congress to take place at the earliest possible time.

VII. On Reducing the Communication a and Ensuring Better Co-ordination

Up until a Council or Congress takes place and while attempts to overcome the financial crisis continue the chair organisations of the Regional Consultative Platforms (RCPS) should wake up and strive to ensure that regular communication and co-ordination takes place between the E.S. and member unions in their respective parts of the world. It’s important to clarify it’s an obligation for the chair organisations of the RCPS together with the E.S. to ensure that information flow is established amongst member unions. We would also welcome any assistance from the Regional Students organisations (AASU, ASA, ASIC, ESIB, GUAS, OCLAE).

VIII. Conclusion

From the above it’s quite clear that there is a lot to be done and the remaining members of the E.S. have been doing whatever they can to help. However, as human beings they have their limits beyond which they may not be able to go any further. This therefore calls for the collective support and commitment of every member and friendly union to get our act together in resolving the crisis now. Dear member and friendly unions, these are some of the ideas and submissions we are happy to bring to your attention and we have no doubt we can trust you to enrich them in order to deal with the issues with all the urgency and the seriousness they rightly deserve.

For further Information Contact:

International Union of Students - IUS
17th November Street
110 01 Prague 01
Czech Republic
Tel./Fax: +420-2-71731257

Regional Secretary for European, North American and other industrialised Countries

Letter to the Board of Étudiant(e)s congolais(es) progressistes (ECP), June 30, 1997

June 30, 1997

To the Board of Étudiant(e)s congolais(es) progressistes (ECP)
Democratic Republic of Congo

Dear friends,

The Executive Secretariat of the International Union of Students (IUS) is happy to share with you the vision that you have constructed for a democratic Congo in which shall prevail peace, development and equity for all its people. Your struggle over the years together with other democratic forces for the realisation of this vision is testimony to the role of students as building blocks and catalysts of change. We are therefore happy to note the profound political changes taking place in your country and it is our hope that these changes would provide you with the desired opportunity to further the cause of students and people of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the world at large.

The road to national reconstruction has never been an easy one and we do recognise that many challenges are yet to confront you in this noble quest. You may, however, rest assured of our moral support and solidarity in our mutual desire for peace, democracy and equal opportunities throughout the African continent and beyond. And please, should you require some consultations or any information from us we shall be only too happy to oblige.
In the meantime, do accept our best regards and assurances of the highest order.

In solidarity,
Zakaria Abdourahamane 
Acting President

Letter to the International Coordinating Committeeof the 14th World Youth and Students Festival, June 24, 1997

Prague, June 24, 1997

The International Coordinating Committee
c/o Cuban National Preparatory Committee
Calle 16, 201 eso. 15 Vedado

Attn.: Rogelio Polanco Fuentes

  • Coordinator

Dear friends,
In previous communications regarding the forthcoming World Youth and Students Festival scheduled to begin next month in Cuba we have repeatedly sought information on the role expected of the International Union of Students within the programme.
Further to that we have also remained hopeful of learning of you about the number of delegates we are entitled to send to send to the festival and the possibility of some financial assistance to help cover our travel costs.

As we approach the dates of the festival we would like to reiterate our commitment and support for the festival and to reassure you of our intended participation. The Executive Secretariat shall be represented by a four person delegation and we hope to count on your kind hospitality to ensure our boarding and lodging for a period of about two weeks. Whilst counting on the ability and willingness of some of our member unions to assist with funding our travel we also look forward to hearing from you about possible financial aid.

We are standing by to hear from you at your earliest convenience; to remember to communicate the final programme in your response.

In solidarity,
Zakaria Abdourahamane
Acting President

Circular Letter of the IUS Executive Secretariat, March 1997

To: All IUS member unions

Dear friends,

The Executive Secretariat /ES/ would like to extend our greetings and to update you on developments regarding the International Union of Students /IUS/ in general and the Headquarters in Particular.

You may recall that for over two years the organisation has been going through the most difficult period in its history both organisationally and financially.

To begin with, the composition of the ES itself has been considerably diminished as a result of massive resignation of several of its members and others who simply absconded. As ar now there remains a limited number of ES members at the Headquaters who are still committed to the work of the organisation.

At the same time the financial crisis has gone from bad to worse due to the fact that the organisation has been operating without any source of income. In the circumstances expenditure soon took a heavy toll of the available and limited resources. Consequently, the organisation became derly indebted to the extent that utilities and communication facilities have all been disconnected from the Headquarters. In addition, members of the ES who are still trying to solve the crisis are left with no source of income or any financial support.

Furthermore, the financial crisis have prevented the IUS from organising any constitutional event since the 16th Congress. This has been despite the many attempts which were made in cooperation with some member unions in Brazil, the Netherlands and South Africa. Recently some other National Union of Students initiated a possibility of hosting a constitutional event but either failed to follow up on it or withdrew the offer later. Such is the case of USI-Irland and NSUM-Macedonia recently.

With all these serious limitations notwithstanding the ES have managed to achive a number of things trying to resolve the crisis.

Following the absence of the President and the Secretary General the ES ran the danger of not being able to exercise legal obligations towards third parties. Such a situation was proving catastrophic in relation to signatory rights until the occasion of the IUS 50 Anniversary when delegates from ES member unions decided to appoint Zakaria Abdourahamane as Acting President and Samwin Banienuba as Acting Secretary General. This decision later recieved the approval of the Constitutional Committee pending the next Constitutional forum when this matter will be dealt with. In the meantime these Acting officers would combine their new tasks with their accredited responsibilities.

Regarding contacts with other International Organisations the ES has kept in constant touch with UNESCO and other UN Agencies. Activities organised by UNESCO and the UN Youth Unit, for instance have provided desired opportunities for consultations with some member unions with the perspective of revitalizing the IUS. This was the case in Vienna during the UNESCO-NGO Collective Consultation on Higher Education.

The ES would further like to inform of the following perspectives which have been outlined for revitalizing our mutual organisation, the IUS.

IUS Council
The ES would like to underline the importance and urgency of a Council Meeting prior to the Congress as per the Constitution. This would also be very appropriate and efficient for later convening a successful Congress and for a better IUS. However, the ES do acknowledge that much as the Council is urgent it is presently difficult to organise it. We therefore remain open to offers and other related information as regards the hosting of this Constitutional event. Whenever it takes place the host organisation including member unions would have to shoulder greater financial responsibilities because the practice of 100% financing from the Headquaters is no longer possible.

Consultation Process
As indicated much earlier the ES have been exploring every opportunity for initiating consultations with member unions. The examples of Vienna and Paris have proved to be benefitial. In April the possibility exists for a youth and students forum to take place in Lybia and the ES lokk forward to having consultation with the Constitutional Committee /CC/. Member unions would be duely informed of the results at the apropriate time. The World Festival of Youth and Students which is scheduled to take place in Cuba in July would provide yet another opportunity for the ES to meet and consult with member unions on all matters of common interest.

In order to broaden the scope of these consultations with the involvement of a majority of our constituencies the ES at the same time look to opportunities in all the different regions for meeting with member unions. Member unions are also requested to communicate their ideas and suggestions directly to the ES. Even if these consultations have no constitutional basis, they are still advantageous in shaping commitment around the IUS and bringing suggestions and new ideas to the ES. They could also be useful for finding common solutions to the problems of the IUS up until the Council Meeting and subsequently the Congress.

Support of Member Unions
The ES can not operate efficently alone without the support of member unions. The payment of membership fees, for instance, would be very useful in assisting the ES on matters of daily administration. However, since 1992 most member unions have failed to pay their dues. Any other financial or material support from member unions would additionally provide a welcome relief to the ES.

Secondly, regular communications from member unions to the Headquaters is equally important. This would enable the ES to be adequately informed of the problems and activities of the Constituencies and to give them an international voice.

We therefore request that member unions would turn a new leaf in paying their membership dues as well as constantly updating us with information on what has been going on in their respective countries.

Role of the Chair Organisations of the Regional Consultative Platforms /RCPs/
It has become imperative for the RCPs chair organisations to become more active in their role of assisting the ES to implement IUS programmes and to coordinate student activities in the various regions. We further request that the RCPs chair organisations keep the Headquarter informed regularly of initiatives they would be undertaking on these matters.

We would also be happy to strengthen cooperation with Regional Students Organisations in furthering the cause of the students movement.

Taking into account the current needs of the organisation and how to find the relevant financial resources for revitalizing the IUS the ES is in the process of finding a loan from a Bank. We are also developing a project that would help generate incomes from the Administrative Building. It is hoped that we would be able to achieve such a project in cooperation with an investor. Both legal and tax experts would be sought to guarantee the interests of the IUS in the Contract that would be signed with the investor. Other possible alternatives for generating income from the building are parallely being explored.

As indicated earlier UNESCO remains one of the ficus for cooperation on matters of education and the student rights. For this matter the ES continue to do everything possible to actively participate in UNESCO activities and programmes for bringing student perspectives into the discussions. The most recent UNESCO event that the ES attended was from 10th-12th February 1997 in Paris. Thsi was the UNESCO-NGO Collective Consultation on Higher Education with the theme "Higher Education: The Consequences of Change for Graduate Employment". The theme and the discussions which took place were in preparation for UNESCO's forthcoming World Conference on Higher Education scheduled to take place in September 1998 in Paris.

For this purpose, Regional Consultations are also being organised to cater for regional perspectives - the dates are the following:

  • Latin America and the Carribean: Havana, Cuba, 10-22 Nov. 1996
  • Africa: Dakar, Senegal, 30th March-3rd April 1997
  • Asia and Pacific: Tokyo, Japan,8-10 July 1997
  • Arab States: Beirut, Lebanon, 7-11 April 1997
  • Europe: Palermo, Italy, 25-27 September 1997

The IUS places priority on this Conference and the different Consultations taking place, because we do share with UNESCO the goals of widening access to Higher Education Systems, improving the management of this sub-sector and reinforcing its links with the production and service sectors. It is oru wish also that the views of the students be brought to bear on all these goals in ensuring that our vested interests are not marginalized. We therefore request member unions to cooperate with the National Commissions and Regional Offices of UNESCO for the possibility of participating in these Consultations. Subsequently, we would be happy to receive a feedback.

It is high time that we all rededicate our energy and resources to the voice of the World Student Movement, the IUS.

We look forward to hearing from you, and please, you may reach us on the IUS address which is the following:

International Union of Students
17th November Street
P.O.Box 58
110 01 Prague
Czech Republic
Tel. and Fax: +420-2-71731257

In Solidarity,

Zakaria Abdourahamane
Acting President

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