After informal efforts to find a solution last week, the RYCO Secretariat has officially invited the Government of Serbia to react and replace the youth representative (YR) in the Governing Board (GB) Mr. Jagoš Stojanović with immediate effect. Stojanović’s contested appointment for YR and the controversial photo he posted on social media are against RYCO’s core values and incite hate speech, which RYCO Secretariat distances from.
This was stated in a letter sent to the Serbian Minister of Tourism and Youth Mr. Husein Memić, additionally stating that RYCO Secretariat cannot accept when our values of peacebuilding and reconciliation are being undermined, all the more by a YR on our GB. We emphasized that this situation has also shown how important it is to improve the YR selection process in the future, in order to have a unified and transparent mechanism acceptable for both Governments and the youth.
RYCO’s Statute declares that youth representatives in the Governing Board are selected exclusively by the Contracting Parties (CPs) and RYCO Secretariat doesn’t have jurisdiction in this process. Article 16/3 says: “Each Contracting Party will select a youth representative using its own mechanisms in a transparent, inclusive and democratic manner and in close cooperation with civil society dealing with youth.”
Since 2017, RYCO has worked across the region with young people from all backgrounds in promoting peace, mutual understanding, tolerance, and respect which are the values that we strongly believe in and which guide our everyday work. RYCO will remain committed to opposing all forms of action that promote hatred and intolerance among young people in the Western Balkans and will continue to promote the spirit of reconciliation and regional cooperation.