Belgrade, October 16 2019 - Regional gathering “Dialogue for the Future”, held during the 9th Belgrade Security Forum, gathered more than 100 representatives of youth, civil society, academy, media, and citizens, as well as high officials and experts to jointly promote and build confidence and strengthen understanding and cooperation in Republic of Serbia and in the region.
Opening the regional gathering “Dialogue for the Future” first Vice-president and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Government of Republic of Serbia, Ivica Dačić, emphasized the importance of youth in creating a better future.
“The meaning of this dialogue is to develop opportunities for everyone to get decent jobs, to create a ground for gender equality as well for the economic growth. Furthermore, one of the most important goals is to create long-term peace and prosperity and it is politicians’ role to help strengthen the cohesion, cooperation, and involvement of youth in those fields. It is in the interest of all three countries to cooperate and not to confront each other, but to support each other.”, said Dacic.
Minister of Youth and Sports, Vanja Udovičić, thanked the youth for participating in such a great project, adding that the Republic of Serbia is giving its best to make the youth a strong agent of the society.
United Nations Development Programme in Serbia (UNDP) Resident Representative, Francine Pickup, spoke about the important role the youth has in creating the future. She underlined that the countries of the region should make the necessary changes to have young people stay and try their best to pursue sustainable development in their countries:
“Western Balkan countries can shape an entire future based on young people’s potentials. Therefore, what does it take for young people to stay in the region? Youth are supposed to be providers of better future and advocates of new changes. Dialogue is meant to serve as a ground for mutual understanding and building resilience.”, believes Pickup.
Deputy Director of UNICEF in Serbia, Severine Leonardi, said that national dialogue platform offers a unique opportunity to design common solutions for the communities, countries and the region for the sake of well-being of our citizens.
”Young people are both potential change agents for promoting a culture of peace and dialogue, while also being vulnerable to conflict and violence, if their needs are not met and voices are ignored. Evidence shows that when all adolescent girls and boys are inclusively supported and encouraged by caring adults, along with policies and services attentive to their needs, protection and capabilities, they have the potential to break long-standing cycles of poverty, discrimination and violence.” pointed out Leonardi.
Three organizations presented their story of success. On behalf of the Club for Youth Empowerment 018 Nikola Božanović presented “Come to Amfi” project that gathers a young team of artists who, through various disciplines, rap music, graffiti, hip hop, video and photography, contribute to empowering young people and developing cooperation in the region.
Zorana Milovanović from European Movement in Serbia presented “Share Your Knowledge” program that opens opportunities for women’s personal and professional development. It is based on the concept of mentoring and focused on building mutual support for women through sharing knowledge, experiences, strengthening solidarity, promoting good role models, networking and empowering women.
Dobrila Marković from OPENS2019 presented Youth Dialogues that gathered adolescents and young people, civil society organizations, informal groups, at-risk youth, youth offices and decision-makers to discuss, identify and agree through youth dialogues social cohesion priorities.
All the participants had an opportunity to discuss their recommendations with decision makers coming from the cabinet of President of the Republic of Serbia, the cabinet of the Prime Minster, Ministry for Youth and Sport, Ministry for Culture, Province Secretariat for Culture, Public Informing and Relations with religious communities, Office for Cooperation with Civil Society and team for the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit of the Government.
Joint Regional program “Dialogue for the Future: Fostering Dialogue and Social Cohesion in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia”, is implemented by UNDP, UNICEF and UNESCO, supported by the UN Peacebuilding Fund (PBF).