Embassy Representatives and Young BiH Politicians Emphasise Importance of Democratic Processes

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Today, representatives of three embassies in BiH talked to 12 young politicians from 8 political parties, elected to public office in 11 local communities. These young politicians took part in the training course Learn, Think and Act for Young Political Leaders - UMiDp, conducted by the Institute for Youth Development KULT for the past three years.

“For more than 18 years, the Institute has been working on building a youth-friendly environment in BiH. During all those years, we have also been providing non-formal education in the form of training courses for different groups of youth and professionals who work with youth and for youth.  A little over three years ago, we added another training course to our repertory - UMiD for young political leaders in BiH. The results they achieved in the lastest local elections are proof of how important this type of training is. We want to raise a new generation of politicians who will be able to respond to the needs of young people.  We are committed to continuing with this training in the years to come”, said the General Director of the Institute, Mr Jasmin Bešić.

63 young politicians took part in UMiDp in the three generations of this training course. In the latest local elections, 13 of the participants were elected as municipal or city councilors, and one participant was elected mayor of his municipality. All participants were under 30 during the training and they come from 15 different political parties from across Bosnia and Herzegovina. The results they achieved in the latest elections show the vast potential of young people to contribute to political processes, but they also illustrate the importance of non-formal education.

“Youth participation is the foundation of every democratic society and the Embassy of Sweden supports KULT in their efforts to provide young politicians with non-formal education. Youth representation in politics is key for finding sustainable solutions for problems faced by the country and local communities. By taking part in politics and being elected, young people bring an important perspective to the conversation, they advocate for youth policies and rights and work on achieving real change that matters to young people. 13 young participants of UMiDp training courses were elected to public office as city and municipal councilors, demonstrating the immense potential of young people to contribute to politics and illustrating the importance of non-formal education”, said Lisa Curman, Second Secretary of the Embassy of Sweden in BiH.

H.E. Matt Field, Ambassador of the United Kingdom in BiH, said that these young people are a great example of participation in local politics even for communities in the UK, noting that gender equality and increasing the number of women politicians is also an important goal.

The event was attended by H.E. Reinart Vos, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in BiH, who told young people to seize the opportunity they got and protect the rule of law and political and election processes in the country.

Slavko Tešić participated in the first UMiDp training, and now he is the mayor of Pelagićevo municipality.  Slavko says the training was a big help in his political career and his successful campaign for mayor this year.

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In the three five-day modules, the training participants learn how to navigate the BiH political system, build their image, and negotiate and advocate for addressing the problems and needs of youth.  The goal is to empower young people to bring positive change by acting as accountable and responsible politicians. The Embassy of Sweden in BiH supported the Institute in all three of the UMiDp training cycles.

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