Hani: Young People Are Biggest Asset We Have

OTESHEVO/PRESPA – RYCO Secretary General Mr Albert Hani delivered a keynote speech at the 2021 Prespa Forum Dialogue within the Youth Forum “Grassroots Youth Voices for Bringing the Region Closer Together” organized in Oteshevo, North Macedonia on Thursday, 1 July 2021. In his speech, RYCO Secretary General said that the young people are the biggest asset we have in the region and underlined the importance for jointly working with young people on their needs.

“We should not disappoint our young people by missing the chances and repeating the same mistakes as we have done in the past. We should learn from these and focus on creating a better region for all. We should not forget that the young people are the biggest asset we have in our region,” Mr Hani underlined.

Mentioning the challenges young people are facing in the region by singling out the low rates of youth involvement into decision-making processes, hopes of young people for better regional relations, low trust of young people in the governments and civil society, and their desire to see the Western Balkans integrated into the EU, Mr Hani pointed out that the time for securing a better and prosperous future for all of our young people within the Western Balkans is now and that if we do not react now and do not listen to young people’s voices they will vote with their feet and leave the region.

On the other hand, Director of Agency of Youth and Sports of North Macedonia Mr Naumce Mojsovski underlined that he is satisfied that the influence of the youth in North Macedonia is becoming visible and pointed out that the youth policies are in the focus of the Government of North Macedonia. “This is because of the great partnership and cohesion created between the youth CSOs and the institutions in charge for youth,” he concluded.

Ms Françeska Muço, the Youth Representative of Albania in the RYCO Governing Board, focused on the brain drain issue and said that it should be tackled by developing youth professionally through enhancing their skills, improving labour rights, improving youth policies through intersectoral approach, advocating for youth from rural areas and increasing their sense of ownership.

“RYCO is a concrete product in the Western Balkans where the youth are really cooperating and exchanging. OFAJ is also learning from that experience. From its beginnings, RYCO started with youth exchanges and concrete projects addressing the needs of youth, as well with its co-management principle of governance,” a special envoy of the Franco-German Youth Office (OFAJ) for South East Europe Mr Frank Morawietz pointed out.

The panel discussion “Youth Vision for the Future of the South East Europe Region” moderated by GIZ’s Mr Jasmin Valjevac was participated by OFAJ Secretary General Mr Bütow Tobias, Youth Representative of Albania in the RYCO Governing Board Ms Franceska Muco, Representative of the Regional Cooperation Council Ms Petra Baladzic, President of the Youth Education Forum Ms Stefani Spirovska, as well as by Mr Nikos Bakirtzis and Mr Darko Kaevski.

Photos: Prespa Forum Dialogue

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