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21 / 07 / 2004
The World Youth Festival will bring together some ten thousand touths from all over the world

The third World Youth Festival, that will be held at Forum Barcelona 2004 between August 8 and 14, is starting off with a great success in the number of participants. Even though there are still eighteen more days until the beginning of the event, a total of 9,489 youths from the five continents have already registered, this diversity has been made possible thanks to the Forum's solidarity fund.

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Alícia Fernández, president of the National Youth Council of Catalonia (CNJC); Fabián Mohedano, president of the Youth Council of Barcelona (CJB), and Inés Giralt, director of the World Youth Festival Barcelona 2004, have participated in the presentation of the event that has been defined as a "meeting space designed for associated youths who will share their respective initiatives." "The wide participation is due to the fact that the civil society has organized the Festival. Youths from all over the world feel like leaders because they participated in the creation of the festival," Mohedano remarked.

The festival's program, that is made up of the Forum's three large -cultural diversity, sustainable development, and conditions for peace- plus another one on globalization, has been designed from a blank slate. Since October, through the internet, youth associations from all over the world, participated in the creation of the 700 activities that will give shape to the event, in which a total of 300 entities will be represented. "It will be seven days of commitment, responsibility, and fun," Mohedano announced.

To guarantee the maximum diversity possible of the youths participating in the Festival, the Forum established a solidarity inscription fee in which "the richest subsidize those of the least acquisitive power," Giralt explained. Taking as a reference, the index of developed countries, they established a price, (that, aside from granting the right to participate in the Festival, also gives the right to accommodation and food) of 200 euros for the youths from countries of the upper group of this classification, and 100 euros from the medium group, and 25 euros from the lower.

They also set up a solidarity fund thanks to which they have managed to finance the trip of youths from the Sahara, Palestine, Guatemala, and Pacific countries, among other significant zones of the world. "The fund has had a very good response from institutions and city councils, many of whom have allocated their cooperation fund," Giralt added. "More than 100 youths will come fully or partially sponsored by the solidarity fund," he added after specifying that 40% of those registered are European, 26% are from the American continent, and 21% Africans, 10% Asians and 2% from Pacific countries, "a balanced success" according to the director.

The youths will stay at a camp that will be set up at the Nova Mar Bella beach, next to the Forum Site, which will have a capacity for some 8,000 people. The organizers are also outlining the design of the nighttime parties that will end each one of the sessions and will take place at the Forum Site. "The youths, between 16 and 35 years of age, will come here to participate and also to have a good time. During the nights there will be parties and we will also organize a final party for the 14th," Mohedano pointed out. "This festival was created by the youths themselves," Giralt reminded us.

"We will wait for the Festival to reinforce the network of cooperation of the associative world movement and hope that, from now on, governments will keep us more in mind when it comes time to designing their policies. We want them to keep clear which are the organizations that represent the youth," Giralt said. "We want the Festival to be a gift for Barcelona and Catalonia and for it to become a magnificent tool so that youths can access the associative movement," Mohedano added. The third World Youth Festival takes over the events held in Portugal in 1998 and in Panama in 2001. Each one of those festivals brought together close to approximately 5,000 youths.