SKOPJE – RYCO Local Branch Office in Macedonia was opened in Skopje today. The opening ceremony, which took place at the Office’s premises, was attended by a number of guests among which were the representatives of the diplomatic corps, Government of Macedonia, civil society and international organizations as well as youth representatives.
RYCO Deputy Secretary General Mr Fatos Mustafa briefly informed the guests on the RYCO’s achievements since the organization became operational and said that he is sure that the Office in Skopje will be a place where young people will initiate dialogue, break stereotypes and prejudices, talk about a common European future, discuss their everyday problems and start solving them, all in the spirit of reconciliation and cooperation among the youth in the Western Balkans.
Moreover, he added that he believes that once the young people go through RYCO programs, that after the experience of intercultural exchange and learning, when they are back home, these young people will become the ambassadors of RYCO, spread its values and tell their parents, brothers and sisters, neighbors and friends about their experience. They will be the ones who will create this region better, Mr Mustafa underlined and concluded that they can contribute to better mutual understanding and closer cooperation within the region, and in the long run, better and more competitive Western Balkans.
RYCO Local Branch Officer in Macedonia Mr Albert Hani expressed his gratitude to all the partners and supporters of RYCO since it was only an idea such as OSCE Mission to Skopje, embassies, the Macedonia Government and other guests. He said that their presence is a proof that RYCO is a sustainable and long lasting initiative which is giving its results.
Moreover, he underlined the support of the RYCO Contracting Parties and pointed out that RYCO is an important element of the Berlin Process. Although RYCO is operating for one year, the existence or RYCO’s work and efforts were present in Macedonia considering the fact that Macedonia strives to became EU and NATO member which are important and, hopefully, achievable targets, Mr Hani concluded.
Director of the Macedonian Agency for Youth and Sport Mr Darko Kaevski said that the Local Branch Office in Macedonia will be a place where the youth of Macedonia will gather and added that RYCO is the strategic focus of the Macedonian government. The proof of the strategic focus was the RYCO Strategic Conference that was held in Skopje in March this year, he underlined.
Mr Kaevski pointed out that the youth of Macedonia are facing lots of challenges which could be treated among young people and push forward the processes of European and NATO integration. He expressed his hopes that many activities will be implemented in the Office such as trainings, discussions, info-day etc. The Agency will continue with its commitment and support for RYCO in order to promote the organization’s values and its work in Macedonia, he concluded.
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