PRIZREN – RYCO representatives took part in the panel discussion Reflecting on the Role of Youth in Fostering Youth Mobility and Cooperation of Young People – What We Can Do More? at this year’s edition of the Dokufest in Prizren, Kosovo*. The discussion that focused on youth cooperation and mobility in Kosovo and the Western Balkans took place on Wednesday. The panelists shared their perspectives on how they have been engaged in supporting youth exchanges and what can be done more, in order to foster the cooperation of young people.
Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports of Kosovo Mr Kujtim Gashi, Project Manager of iChat Mr Arianit Jashari, both members of the RYCO Governing Board, RYCO Deputy Secretary General Mr Fatos Mustafa, NGO TOKA Executive Director Ms Jehona Gjurgjeala, and YIHR Office in Belgrade Team Member Mr Boris Firicki, discussed the current state of affairs in the youth sector in Kosovo and beyond it, including challenges and potential solutions in terms of cooperation, mobility and active participation on the national and the regional level.
The discussion, attended by fifty young people and moderated by RYCO Local Branch Officer in Kosovo Ms Krenare Gashi, brought together different perspectives of governmental, non-governmental and international institutions and provided good examples of how to overcome the current challenges.
Mr Mustafa emphasized that RYCO is a good example of how the things can move forward when there is a will from relevant stakeholders. He pointed out that the commitments shown by the WB6 governments are being appreciated by RYCO. However, he said, there are many barriers which RYCO, but also other regional mechanisms, are still dealing with. Because of that, Mr Mustafa underlined that RYCO cannot reach the goal alone since it is operating in a complex environment such as the Western Balkans. Therefore, he invited young people, civil society organization and other partners to join the organization in fulfilling its mission and vision for a better region.
The Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports of Kosovo highlighted that there has been a positive progress in youth mobility and cooperation in the region. Mr Gashi said that RYCO is a concrete example that the region is moving forward in the right directions in this context. However, he said that this is not enough because there are contradictory actions taken from time to time by the governments of the Western Balkans that are affecting youth mobility and cooperation. Therefore, he suggested, young people should put more pressure on the representatives of the governments as decision makers in order to foster regional cooperation.
Mr Jashari shared his personal expectations towards RYCO. He strongly believes that RYCO will provide great opportunities for young people of the region in enhancing mobility and cooperation. Through its programs, he said, RYCO will serve as an excellent example of how regional cooperation should look like. When it comes to the role of young people in fostering such a process, he underlined that it is crucial that the change should and will be made by youth.
This event was organized by the Dokufest in coordination with the RYCO Local Branch Office in Kosovo and was supported by the OSCE Mission in Kosovo.
*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independen