PODGORICA – RYCO Local Branch Office in Montenegro with the support of the OSCE Mission to Montenegro organized a regional meeting on 13 – 15 October which gathered representatives of the six RYCO Local Branch Offices together with almost twenty representatives of the Western Balkan ministries of foreign affairs and ministries in charge of youth to discuss strengthening of institutional capacities of the RYCO Local Branch Offices. A proper work of the branch offices requires coordination between a range of different actors as well as their joint approach to the issue. The meeting also explored ways and directions for further development and institutionalization of the offices.
By opening the meeting, Minister of Sports and Youth of Montenegro Mr Nikola Janović emphasized that the meeting should refer to the improvement of the institutional and legal functioning of RYCO. He also stated that the RYCO Contracting Parties understand the challenges young people face and that by acting together relevant actors can contribute to the improvement of their status. “I believe this meeting will help in overcoming some of the key challenges which the RYCO Local Branch Offices are facing,” Mr Janović underlined.
Head of the OSCE Mission to Montenegro Ms Maryse Daviet reiterated that the mission is willing to continuously provide open support for RYCO’s further growth and congratulated RYCO team members on their so far achieved success. She also praised the interest and support provided by the Western Balkan governments focused on enabling RYCO to fully develop its capacities.
On the other hand, RYCO Deputy Secretary General Mr Fatos Mustafa pointed out that although there has been a lot of progress in the work of RYCO, the organization is still facing certain challenges. He expressed hopes that the meeting will be evaluated as a significant step in the preparatory working phase towards devising solutions on how RYCO Local Branch Offices could be institutionalized in each of the RYCO Contracting Parties.
Head of the RYCO Local Branch Office in Montenegro Mr Edin Koljenović welcomed the participants and pointed out that Montenegro, after recently held Regional Capacity Building training, is hosting a RYCO’s event again. Presenting the overview of the recently conducted RYCO activities, he underlined the importance of the OSCE Mission to Montenegro’s supporting role in the realization of the meeting. Mr Koljenović also presented the current state of RYCO’s work and its priorities in the upcoming period. Finanlly, he stressed out the necessity of the continuous work of RYCO with the Western Balkan youth ministries and ministries of foreign affairs for further improvement of the position of youth throughout the region.
The representatives of the ministries expressed their understanding of the need to launch such an initiative as well as their willingness to contribute to it. Moreover, the participants agreed that adequate legal and institutional status of the Local Branch Offices is a key prerequisite for the sustainability of an organization such as RYCO is. The meeting also identified the next steps that require close coordination and cooperation amongst relevant parties to allow successful and efficient institutional consolidation of the overall RYCO structure.