BELGRADE – RYCO Secretary General Mr Đuro Blanuša, together with RYCO Local Branch Officer in Serbia Ms Marija Bulat, visited the United Nations Head Quarter in Belgrade on Friday, 8 September. They met with UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Ms Karla Hershey and UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Ms Steliana Nedera and discussed possible ways of cooperation.
Mr Blanuša expressed RYCO’s openness towards cooperation with UN agencies, both in Serbia and other parties in the Western Balkans and called upon coordinated approach and activities in order to accomplish greater results. Ms Bulat briefly presented plans for the development of the Local Branch Office in Serbia and possible opportunities for joint activities with the UN agencies in the upcoming period. Ms Hershey proposed to host a joint meeting between all relevant UN agencies in Serbia and the LBO in the nearest future.
Ms Hershey and Ms Nedera also introduced RYCO representatives with current programs of the UN agencies which deal with youth, and offered resources for support of RYCO’s programs. As it was explained in the meeting, there is a lot of relevant bibliography such as handbooks, reports, studies etc. created by UN in the Western Balkans which can serve RYCO in developing its own materials and ensuring evidence based approach.
RYCO and UN representatives discussed the project entitled “Dialogue for the Future”. It has been implemented under the leadership of UN in Bosnia and Herzegovina, aiming to promote coexistence and diversity in the country. The representatives concluded that this model can be promoted regionally and that RYCO should assist in its extension to a larger scale project across the WB6.
Many of the UN agencies in Serbia, but also across the region have youth as a cross-cutting issue on their agendas. The role of young people in achieving Sustainable Development Goals is utterly important, especially when it comes to conflict prevention and peace building activities. Acknowledging the fact that RYCO has been established with a mission to contribute to the reconciliation process in the Western Balkans, both sides agreed that a common ground for mutual cooperation between the two institutions has already been set.