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Sarajevo, 12 August 2020 – August 12 marks the annual celebration of International Youth Day, and this year we are marking it at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, witnessing young people’s extraordinary preparedness and selfless devotion in their attempt to help solve the problems in their local communities. 

Working with young people, UNFPA and partners are launching a broad-based process of consultations with young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to learn about their views and proposals for rebuilding the BiH society in a way tailored to young people and to support them in the implementation of proposed solutions.  

Young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina have been on the frontlines of response to the pandemic – mobilizing and providing assistance and support just when it was needed most, to the most vulnerable ones. We also need to understand better and tackle challenges that compel them to make important decisions such as on migration, entrepreneurship, and inter-personal relationships and cohesion.

As we rebuild the society, we need to work with young people and ensure that they have space, platform and an opportunity to voice their views and needs – access to education, health, training and employment, stability but also access to tools and services they need to achieve their full potential and contribute to the sustainable development of Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

In that regard, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, in BiH, guided by its global strategy “My Body, My Life, My World”, is working with partners to invest in young people, creating opportunities for young people to preserve peace, take care of their health, strengthen community relationships and build their own careers. 

UNFPA believes that young people have enormous potential, creative energy, and readiness to build together – however, this should not be an excuse to leave young people to their own devices and without our collective support. 

It is only through joint work that the society can be rebuilt, prepared for similar emergencies, and can ensure the development of local communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.