Youth in Serbia: Catalysts for Peacebuilding

Bajina Bašta- RYCO Local Branch Office in Serbia organized on 28th October 2023. the fourth Youth Talk this year that was focused on the UN Youth, Peace and Security Agenda. This event was co-organized with the National Youth Council of Serbia (KOMS) and took place in Bajina Bašta where the Annual KOMS Assembly was held. 

More than 40 young people, representatives of youth organizations and organizations for youth from all parts of Serbia discussed priorities of YPS Agenda, presented what their organizations are doing on local level under this Agenda, what are their needs in order to build their capacities and further develop activities in order to be more efficient and sustainable. Opening remarks were given by Ms. Aleksandra Mihajlović, Program Assistant in KOMS and Ms. Ivana Markulić, Program Officer in RYCO LBO Serbia: they have familiarized participants with YPS Agenda priorities, core pillars and why its implementation is crucial for youth, their position and youth policy overall, not just in Serbia but in the whole Western Balkans region. Special focus was put on the local context, why peacebuilding and reconciliation processes are important and on which way these organizations are involved in it and on which level.

This introductory part was followed by group discussions that address main YPS implementation areas: youth policies and programs, policies and programs of peace and security, foreign policy and international cooperation, education, culture and art, economic and employment policy, justice and human rights policy, gender equality, healthcare policies, environmental protection and climate change, policies in area of science and technology. Participants have developed overviews of what is done in their communities regarding these program implementation areas and what should be done more, or modified or even kept as  good practice. Conclusion of this Youth Talk was unanimous agreement that there is a need for joint actions, intersectoral and multisectorial cooperation and strategic approach towards implementation of UN YPS Agenda priorities in Serbia.

The aspiration to build an inclusive and just peace encouraged the adoption of the Youth, Peace and Security Agenda. Founded in United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250, the Agenda emphasizes the importance of involving youth in all phases of peacebuilding, from conflict prevention to rebuilding trust and cooperation after conflict. The development of the Regional Agenda for Youth, Peace and Security for the Western Balkans is one of RYCO’s strategic priorities until 2025. KOMS also works strategically at the local level to achieve the goals set in UN Agenda 2250 and together with the RYCO office in Serbia will work on the development and implementation of the Regional Agenda in the coming period.



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