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The World Festival of Youth and Students is an international event organized by the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY) and the International Union of Students after 1947. Initially pluralist, the event became an outlet for Soviet propaganda for foreign audiences during the Cold War.
The festival has been held regularly since 1947 as an event of global youth solidarity for democracy and against war and imperialism. The largest festival was the 6th, held in 1957 in Moscow, when 34,000 young people from 131 countries attended the event. This festival also marked the international debut of the song "Moscow Nights", which subsequently went on to become perhaps the most widely recognized Russian song in the world. Until the 19th festival in Sochi, Russia in 2017 (with 185 countries participating),the largest festival by number of countries with participants was the 13th, held in 1989 in Pyongyang when 177 countries attended the event.
The most recent festival took place in Sochi, Russia, from 13 to 22 October 2017.
|Edition||Year||Logo||Country||Host City||Participants||Number of Represented Countries||Motto|
|1st||1947||Prague||17,000||71||"Youth Unite, Forward for Lasting Peace!"|
|2nd||1949||Budapest||20,000||82||"Youth Unite, Forward for Lasting Peace, Democracy, National Independence and a better future for the people"|
|3rd||1951||East Berlin||26,000||104||"For Peace and Friendship – Against Nuclear Weapons"|
|4th||1953||Bucharest||30,000||111||"No! Our generation will not serve death and destruction!."|
|5th||1955||Warsaw||30,000||114||"For Peace and Friendship – Against the Aggressive Imperialist Pacts"|
|6th||1957||Moscow||34,000||131||"For Peace and Friendship"|
|7th||1959||Vienna||18,000||112||"For Peace and Friendship and Peaceful Coexistence"|
|8th||1962||Helsinki||18,000||137||"For Peace and Friendship"|
|9th||1968||Sofia||20,000||138||"For Solidarity, Peace and Friendship"|
|10th||1973||East Berlin||25,600||140||"For Anti-Imperialist Solidarity, Peace and Friendship"|
|11th||1978||Havana||18,500||145||"For Anti-Imperialist Solidarity, Peace and Friendship"|
|12th||1985||Moscow||26,000||157||"For Anti-Imperialist Solidarity, Peace and Friendship"|
|13th||1989||Pyongyang||22,000||177||"For Anti-Imperialist Solidarity, Peace and Friendship"|
|14th||1997||Havana||12,325||136||"For Anti-Imperialist Solidarity, Peace and Friendship"|
|15th||2001||Algiers||6,500||110||"Let’s Globalize the Struggle For Peace, Solidarity, Development, Against Imperialism"|
|16th||2005||Caracas||17,000||144||"For Peace and Solidarity, We Struggle Against Imperialism and War"|
|17th||2010||Pretoria||15,000||126||"Let's Defeat Imperialism, for a World of Peace, Solidarity and Social Transformation!"|
|18th||2013||Quito||8,500||80||"Youth Unite Against Imperialism, for a World of Peace, Solidarity and Social Transformation!"|
|19th||2017||Sochi||30,000||185||"For peace, solidarity and social justice, we struggle against imperialism. Honoring our past, we build the future!"|
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The First World Festival of Youth and Students (WFYS) was held in 1947, in Prague, the capital of the then Czechoslovakia.
The Third World Festival of Youth and Students (WFYS) was held in 1951, in East Berlin, East Germany, and organised by World Federation of Democratic Youth.
The Fourth World Festival of Youth and Students (WFYS) was held in 1953, in Bucharest, the capital of Romania.
The International Union of Students (IUS) is a worldwide nonpartisan association of university student organizations.
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The 13th World Festival of Youth and Students (WFYS) was held from 1–8 July 1989 for 8 days, in Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, and was organized by the World Federation of Democratic Youth. During the 1960s, the United States accused socialist countries, which mainly held these events, of using this event to spread communist propaganda.
The World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY) is an international youth organization, recognized by the United Nations as an international youth non-governmental organization, and has historically characterized itself as anti-imperialist and left-wing. WFDY was founded in London in 1945 as a broad international youth movement, organized in the context of the end of World War II with the aim of uniting youth from the Allies behind an anti-fascist platform that was broadly pro-peace, anti-nuclear war, expressing friendship between youth of the capitalist and socialist nations. The WFDY Headquarters are in Budapest, Hungary. The main event of WFDY is the World Festival of Youth and Students. The last festival was held in Sochi, Russia, in October 2017. It was one of the first organizations granted general consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
The 15th World Festival of Youth and Students (WFYS) was organized by the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY) in Algiers, Algeria, from 8 to 16 August 2001 for nine days, under the slogan "Let's globalize the struggle for Peace, Solidarity, Development, against Imperialism". The festival was the first organized in an Arab country, as well as the first in Africa and brought together 11,000 delegates from over 100 countries from around the world. International preparatory meetings took place in Cuba, India, Cyprus and Algeria itself. The event came after the successful revival of the festival movement at the 14th World Festival of Youth and Students in Havana, Cuba, and marked a continuation of the internationalist and anti-imperialist youth festival spirit.
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The 12th World Festival of Youth and Students was a festival held in Moscow from July 27 to August 3, 1985. The festival was attended by 26,000 people from 157 countries. The slogan of the festival was "For anti-imperialist solidarity, peace and friendship".
The 19th World Festival of Youth and Students (WFYS) was opened on October 14, 2017 in Sochi, Russia. The festival attracted 20,000 people from 180 countries. The opening ceremony of the Festival was held in the arena of the Bolshoy Ice Dome in Sochi. The official slogan of the festival is "For peace, solidarity and social justice, we are fighting against imperialism - respecting our past, we are building our future!". This was the 3rd World Festival of Youth and Students on Russian territory, with the 6th and 12th festivals being held in Moscow in 1957, and 1985.
The 17th World Festival of Youth and Students (WFYS) was an event that was opened on December 13, 2010 in the South African capital of Pretoria and was organized by the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY). The festival attracted 15,000 people from close to 130 countries and was held under the slogan, "Let's Defeat Imperialism, for a World of Peace, Solidarity and Social Transformation!". It was the second time that an edition of the WFYS has been held in Africa, with the other being in Algeria in 2001
The Eighth World Festival of Youth and Students (WFYS) was held in 1962, in Helsinki, the capital of Finland.
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