Regional Conference Held in Banja Luka

The second regional conference, held in Banja Luka on February 13, 2015, was attended by youth officers, representatives of nongovernmental organisations whose focus includes youth issues and representatives of youth councils in RS and FBiH. The regional conference in Banja Luka included the promotion of the conclusions from the international youth conference celebrating 100 years since the beginning of WWI, reached by 120 youth from 22 countries in Sarajevo, in June and July of 2014. The youth believe that the most important youth issues today are: active citizenship, international cooperation and overcoming ethnic barriers with the aim of preventing fighting, and promoting sustainable peace building.

During the conference, youth from the Banja Luka region discussed the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats faced by youth. The young activists listed foreign languages, resourcefulness and motivation as youth strengths and apathy and passivity as weaknesses which must be analysed and remedied. Youth in BiH have access to mobility and education at reputable institutions in the world, and they also have opportunities for activism in BiH. The biggest threat to youth is unemployment, a systemic problem in BiH.

During the regional conference in Banja Luka, the participants were addressed by Mr Vladimir Pandurevi?, representative of the Delegation of the EU in BiH, Mr Jens Wagner, representative of German Embassy in BiH, Miloš Blagojevi?, President of the Youth Council of Republika Srpska (OSRS), who presented the activities conducted by the Council, and a representative of the Institute – Nejra Neimarlija Roi?.  

«The European Union allocated 2 million Euros for commemorating the 100th anniversary of the beginning of WWI, with the goal of focusing on the things that connect us, rather than the differences – which is the main goal of the project Sarajevo 2014, which is supported by the European Union. This initiative placed special focus on youth and culture as the guarantee for a better future», stated Mr Vladimir Pandurevi?. 

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Mr Jens Wagner from the German Embassy in BiH, emphasised the potential of youth and the importance of the social inclusion of youth. «BiH has a lot of youth with great potential. Seven days ago we interviewed scholarship candidates and engineering students from Banja Luka impressed us. Sadly, many youth with that kind of potential are frustrated due to a lack of prospects and the political stagnation. Therefore, it is important that those in power listen to youth and enable their voices to be heard.»



The final regional conference will be held in April in Tuzla. After the final one, the conclusions from all three regional conferences will be consolidated and promoted, so that they can serve as recommendations for the government and the nongovermental sector in their efforts to improve the position of youth.


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