UNMIK work with young people
Kosovo has the youngest population in Europe with 55.9 per cent of its population under 25 years old (Kosovo Agency of Statistics). Therefore, the future of Kosovo lies with its youth and their understanding and participation in political, socioeconomic and environmental processes. Challenges are manifold, including working towards an inclusive society where communities can work together to better understand each other and to improve their quality of life. However, a number of youth in Kosovo are taking this brave leap to work together towards a better, brighter future.
Youth, Peace and Security at UNMIK
In 2015, the United Nations Security Council adopted a groundbreaking resolution on Youth, Peace and Security, UNSCR 2250 (2015), which recognizes the essential role of young people as contributors to peace-building processes.
Acknowledging the crucial role of young people in long-lasting peace efforts in Kosovo, UNMIK appointed the very first UN Mission Youth Focal Point in May 2016.
By now, UNMIK has developed a wide range of activities that bring together young people from diverse communities across Kosovo in their joint work on issues of mutual interest. Two UN Youth Focal Points located in Pristina and Mitrovica coordinate the activities in close cooperation with all sections of the Mission.
Among the key achievements of the Mission in the area of youth engagement was the holding of the first United Nations Youth Assembly in Kosovo organized in June 2017. At the Youth Assembly, Kosovo youth came up with 50 recommendations to the UN, international organizations and Kosovo institutions that formed the Kosovo Roadmap on Youth, Peace and Security. To monitor and facilitate the implementation of the recommendations, the UN Mission in Kosovo joined forces with international presences and the Kosovo Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, as well as 24 young leaders – members of the Youth Task Force.
Youth Focal Point
Iana Minochkina is the UNMIK Youth Focal Point based in Pristina Iana is from Russia and has over the last six years lived and worked in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo where she got passionate about the Balkans. Inspired by her experience in bringing youth voices to the decision-making level as OSCE Youth Ambassador in 2014, and her involvement in setting up the OSCE Youth Contact Groups in Ukraine in 2015, Iana joined the UN family in Kosovo where she focuses on bringing together youth from divided communities to resolve shared issues and empower each other.
Iana holds a double master degree in Human Rights and Democracy from the University of Sarajevo and the Moscow Higher School of Economics, as well as a bachelor degree in International Economics and Investment. Before joining UNMIK, Iana was running a youth center in Albania and worked as a freelance trainer on youth empowerment, intercultural dialogue and conflict transformation through non-formal education with the OSCE and the Council of Europe. She has a working command of both Albanian and Serbian languages.
Iana’s life motto: We are our own choices!
UN Framework Documents on Youth
UN Security Council resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security
Guiding Principles on Youth Participation in Peace-building