TIRANA – Supported by the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund, together with its partners UNDP, UNFPA and UNICEF from Albania, RYCO is holding an annual planning workshop of the “Supporting the Western Balkan’s Collective Leadership on Reconciliation: Building Capacities and Momentum for the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO)” project. The workshop is taking place in Tirana on 16 – 17 January 2020.
The event gathered international and regional consultants, project experts and representatives of UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF and RYCO. It aims to define timelines, processes, coordination modalities and necessary expertise for delivering the planned project activities during 2020. Moreover, the workshop aims to establish a clear roadmap towards ensuring support for developing further RYCO’s capacities.
The participants were addressed by RYCO Secretary General Mr Đuro Blanuša, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Albania Mr Brian J. Williams and Deputy Minister of Education, Sport and Youth of Albania Ms Lorena Haxhiu.
Mr Blanuša underlined the importance of the UN role in the region and pointed out the significance of this project for further RYCO development.
“We are living in a region that requires urgent measures and there is no time to wait. That is why RYCO is committed to deliver on its mission. The establishment of RYCO is a huge achievement for the region. On the other hand, this project impacts our work to reach to youth, invest in theirs but also in RYCO capacities,” Mr Blanuša concluded.
Ms Haxhiu highlighted the importance of the project achievements for the region but also pointed out the significance of the project for the Government of Albania.
“The significance of this project does not only reflect on a very important component to reinforce peacebuilding and tolerance in the region but also in strengthening the capacities of RYCO that engages the youth organization and enables voices of youth people to be heard,” Ms Haxhiu underlined.
Mr Williams added that RYCO was established in a very challenging environment and that it represents an achievement of the Western Balkans 6 governments. He underlined the United Nations’ support to the region and readiness to support building of the RYCO’s capacities.
“RYCO is a great example that real change for the youth in the Western Balkans is possible. There are a lot of real issues around participation, future, and democratization in the region. This project is an opportunity to solve these issues and change people’s views. The UN agencies are keen to keep the peacebuilding activities in the region and RYCO’s success is critical to our argument for it,” Mr Williams pointed out.
The project of “Supporting the Western Balkan’s Collective Leadership on Reconciliation: Building Capacity and Momentum for the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO)”, which started in October 2018, aims to achieve its goals through providing support to RYCO, as a mechanism, which is endorsed by governments and citizens alike. The project is supporting RYCO to work in partnership with civil society, education systems and schools, grassroots, youth institutions and youth in general for the consolidation of RYCO as a regionally owned mechanism with the capacity to promote reconciliation, mobility, diversity, democratic values, participation, active citizenship and intercultural learning.