DURRËS – RYCO Head of Local Branch Office in Albania Mr Kreshnik Loka, took part in a panel discussion on the topic “Promoting youth participation at the local level” that took place on 8th of November in Durres.
Together with the high school students, the panel discussion gathered Ambassador of France in Tirana H.E. Ms Christina Vasak, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Tirana Ms Jutta Gützkow, Mayor of Durres Ms Valbona Soka and Albanian Representative at the Joint Steering Committee on Youth of the Council of Europe Mr Luis Bekteshi.
Mr Loka presented RYCO and its mandate of including young people in its decision-making process which also stands as a core principle in all RYCO programs. “Young people should be represented in all levels of decision-making processes, but most important is for them to take responsibility of their lives and to be active contributors in their communities” RYCO Local Branch Officer in Albania highlighted.
Ms Soka addressed the audience by sharing the drive of the Municipality to work with and for the youth of Durres to improve their standard of leaving. She encouraged them to catch the opportunities that are available for them and to not be indifferent to new experiences. Following her speech, Ms Gutzkow thanked the Mayor for her hospitality and mentioned the strong contribution of the Council of Europe to youth issues in all its members, through its legal framework, publications, and activities.
H.E. Ms Vasaak, reminded the young people on the importance of the European Convention of Human Rights, and pointed out how each one of them has to be aware of it and take measures for its implementation. Mr Bekteshi shared with the audience his experience from the Joint Steering Committee on Youth of the CoE by highlighting the importance of co-management and of youth participation in decision making.
This event was part of the four roundtables organized by the French Embassy in Albania and the Council of Europe in Albania to celebrate the 70th anniversary of CoE during the actual French presidency of the Committee of Ministers.