PRIZREN – RYCO Secretary General Đuro Blanuša and RYCO Deputy Secretary General Fatos Mustafa discussed together with the OSCE Dialogue Academy alumni who are young activists of the “Follow Us” initiative the role which youth should have to shape the region’s social and political landscape, as well as new ways to participate in public life and their role in promoting dialogue and reconciliation. The panel discussion “Connecting, Leading, Changing: Youth Building our Future” was held at Dokufest in Prizren, Kosovo* on Tuesday, 8 August 2017.
Senior representatives of RYCO, Member of the Municipal Assembly in Zrenjanin, Serbia Alisa Kockar and Member of the Municipal Assembly in Gjakovë/Djakovica, Kosovo Rina Domi discussed how they imagine the future they would like to live in and what they can do to realize it.
At the panel discussion moderated by Head of OSCE Mission in Kosovo Jan Braathu, it is highlighted that RYCO is setting a good example for regional cooperation.
RYCO Secretary General Blanuša presented the process of the establishment of the organization and pointed out that RYCO is a non-political regional youth organization which will focus on the youth exchanges in the Western Balkans thus fighting against prejudices among the youth of different nationalities in the region.
He said that RYCO can use a good example of the Franco-German Youth Office (OFAJ) for its work and highlighted that this organization was included in the process of RYCO establishment from the very beginning. Mr Blanuša concluded that beside the involvement of the Western Balkan governments, it is important to build an enabling environment for RYCO by engaging stakeholders on a national and regional level such as civil society, media, and schools and call them to closely follow and participate in RYCO’s work and activities.
On the other hand, RYCO Deputy Secretary General Fatos Mustafa said that young people of the region should focus on integrating first amongst themselves, within the Western Balkan region, and then to continue integrating into the bigger family, the European Union. Young people are the future of the reconciliation and overcoming the obstacles which were created a long time ago. RYCO, together with its partners, will design the most fitting approach and will support ideas that build bridges between youth within the region, as well as youth of our region with those from other regions. Mr Mustafa said that it is time for everyone, not only for the young people, to reflect and build our common future and joint efforts for the wealth and better life for all.
*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.