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Youth activism on the International Day of Peace

Sarajevo, 21 September 2020 - The UN General Assembly in 1981 declared 21 September as International Day of Peace, devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, stability, and prosperity. This year, in which we see entire societies disrupted, those ideals are more important than ever. The UN in Bosnia and Herzegovina,  the British Embassy Sarajevo, and Fondacija Mozaik are marking the Day with young people from across Bosnia and Herzegovina to foster dialogue and exchange ideas under this year’s theme “Shaping Peace Together”.

Some 100 youth leaders participated in the online conference together with UN Resident Coordinator in BiH Ingrid Macdonald, UNFPA Representative for BiH John Kennedy Mosoti, H.E. Matthew Field, British Ambassador to BiH, and Vesna Bajšanski-Agić, Executive director of Fondacija Mozaik.

 
The youth presented their work in local communities, discussed some of the key challenges they are facing in BiH today, and how others could support their activism. They defined Three principles of successful youth activism in preserving peace in BiH: 

The First principle is youth activism that is based on long-term empowerment at the local level – as opposed to short-term interventions, which are never as effective as focused and long-term investment in youth. 

The Second principle is that there is no universal, singular mold for successful youth activism – all solutions must be local, sustainable, culturally compatible, ready to seek compromise and aware of the local community’s capacity to change, and 

The Third principle is that youth activism must be inclusive, otherwise, it only deepens existing challenges - it equally includes women and men, young and older, people of all identities, and diverse backgrounds of successful youth activism in preserving peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

Representatives of the international community expressed their firm dedication to promoting peace, to creating opportunities for young people to thrive and lead on progress towards sustainable development agenda, thus transforming their communities into hubs of innovation.