Youth Trail: Brining Youth Cooperation to Western Balkans

TIRANA – In the presence of Head of OSCE Presence in Albania Ambassador Mr Bernd Borchardt, Ambassador of Austria to Albania Mr Johan Sattler, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania Ms Odeta Barbullushi, Deputy Mayor of Tirana Mr Arbjan Mayniku and RYCO Secretary General Mr Đuro Blanuša, the program Youth Trail was opened on Wednesday evening in Tirana.

During his opening speech, Mr Blanuša congratulated the OSCE Presence in Albania on its 20th anniversary in Albania and pointed out that OSCE is one of the most valuable partners for the work of RYCO as the two institutions are working on bringing young people from the region together and building sustainable peace and understanding. He also welcomed 40 young participants of the program and invited them to take part in RYCO activities which aim to promote the spirit of reconciliation in the region.

Ambassador Borchardt said that the Youth Trail is one of the three programs which are organized by OSCE Presence in Albania on the occasion of 20th anniversary of the organization in the country. He said that the anniversary is marked not only through the Youth Trail but also through the art contest organized in April and the call for papers on transition in Albania. Speaking about the youth, he praised the vision and willingness of the leaders from the region to establish RYCO. Mr Borchardt pointed out that this is not enough, that the youth should take a greater role in RYCO activities to make it a successful organization and invited them to do so.

Ambassador Sattler said that he is happy to have RYCO as an initiative in the region because he thinks that the organization should serve for the inclusion of young people in the processes in the region, especially when it comes to the European integration. Mr Sattler said that through travelling youth are seeing the world through others’ eyes and that is how they can break their prejudices.

Ms Barbullushi said that the young people from the region have a lot in common, that they are sharing their hopes and challenges. She pointed out that one of the problems is that they do not know each other enough and said that knowing each other is a prerequisite for understanding and peace in the region. Ms Barbullushi concluded that RYCO is one of the most positive achievements of the regional political cooperation and that it is an excellent platform for regional youth cooperation.

Youth Trail: Promoting OSCE Values in the Western Balkans is an initiative which is taking place this week in Tirana. It is organized by OSCE Presence in Albania in cooperation with the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO), Municipality of Tirana and the Austrian Development Agency (ADA). It brings together 40 young people from Western Balkans to exchange experiences and promote joint actions.


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