UN Youth Assembly in Kosovo
On 28-29 June 2017, UNMIK organized the very first UN Youth Assembly in Kosovo entitled ‘Advancing Youth, Peace and Security in Kosovo Together’ in Pristina.
The event followed the footsteps of the Global United Nations Youth Assembly in New York, and was conducted as the first Kosovo Consultation for the Secretary-General Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security, in the framework of the global process of UN-led youth consultations.
The first UN Youth Assembly in Kosovo brought together over 140 young motivated people from all communities Kosovo-wide for a two-day opportunity to exchange ideas, share concerns and develop joint solutions and recommendations to the UN, international organizations and Kosovo institutions on issues of Youth, Peace and Security.
The UN Youth Assembly is the biggest platform so far of youth-driven discussions on mutual challenges and solutions beyond community lines. The event was coordinated by the UNMIK Youth Focal Point and organized with invaluable contributions from UNICEF and UNDP.
Kosovo Roadmap on Youth, Peace and Security
At the 1st UN Youth Assembly in Kosovo, 140 young people from diverse communities across Kosovo developed a wide range of recommendations to the UN, international organizations and Kosovo institutions under the four pillars of UNSCR 2250 (2015): Participation, Protection, Prevention and Partnerships.
The 50 progressive recommendations addressed the need for:
- Non-formal education on diversity and conflict transformation in addition to regular curricula,
- Inter-ethnic youth exchanges,
- Prioritizing youth in municipal and central government budgeting,
- Improving freedom of movement
- Increasing efficiency of the Local Youth Action Councils,
As well as policies that consider youth as valuable contributors throughout all processes affecting Kosovo
These recommendations formed the Kosovo Roadmap on Youth, Peace and Security, which was shared with international organizations, local decision-makers and civil society organizations and will be included in the United Nations Secretary-General Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security.
Follow-up and implementation
The recommendations of the Kosovo Roadmap on Youth, Peace and Security received a lot of interest from the UN, OSCE, EUSR and Kosovo Ministry on Culture, Youth and Sport. The Ministry offered to directly include the recommendations of the Kosovo Roadmap on Youth, Peace and Security into the upcoming Kosovo Youth Strategy and Action Plan 2018-2020.
Based on the success of the Youth Assembly and the initial encouraging signs of local ownership from both the Kosovo youth and local institutions, The UN Mission in Kosovo decided to actively follow-up on the implementation of the recommendations in cooperation with the international community and Kosovo institutions.
To achieve this, the UN Mission in Kosovo places young people at the forefront of agents of change by providing mentorship and support to the Youth Task Force.
Youth Task Force
Youth Task Force members are 24 young leaders from diverse ethnicities across Kosovo, who became the main driving force behind the First UN Youth Assembly in Kosovo. The volunteers received training on advocacy and Youth, Peace and Security from UNMIK and were actively involved in organization of the event.
After the UN Youth Assembly, members of the Youth Task Force formed a follow-up group aimed at supporting implementation of the recommendations and advocating for more inclusive youth policies.
In 2017-18, the Youth Task Force decided to focus on three key issues:
- Promotion of youth inter-ethnic cooperation
- Strengthening of youth decision-making mechanisms
- Education on diversity
To achieve these goals, Youth Task Force members will work with the UN Mission in Kosovo, UNKT, international presences and Kosovo institutions, as well as youth groups, civil society and media.
In spring 2018, UNMIK will organize the second UN Youth Assembly in Kosovo to assess and monitor the progress in implementation of the recommendations of the Kosovo Roadmap on Youth, Peace and Security. Youth Task Force members are seen as the key contributors throughout all stages of the process. During the year, they will receive training from the Mission and will take part in outreach and advocacy activities with stakeholders at different levels.
Learn more about UNMIK’s work on Youth, Peace and Security:
The Future in their Hands: Young People Seek Chance at First UN Youth Assembly in Kosovo
Click here to read the Report of the 1st UN Kosovo Youth Assembly