The results of the process of establishing the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) were presented at the panel discussion on March 31st in the Youth Center in Podgorica.
The panel discussion was led by Dimitrije Jovicevic, while the speakers were Director of the Directorate for Youth at the Ministry of Sport Dragan Koprivica, representatives of Forum MNE Tamara Čirgić and representative of the Youth Initiative for Human Rights Edin Koljenović.
Youth Initiative for Human Rights is an organization which has been dealing with advocacy for five years, as well as establishing a kind of regional office dealing with the cooperation of young people. It became part of the political process which was important for Montenegro, which includes the Berlin Congress, explained Koljenović.
In the past two years they worked on the formation of working groups that contributed to the development office.
“Creation of the Regional Youth Cooperation Office officially began at the Summit of the Western Balkans, which was held in Vienna in 2014. At first, it was an initiative of a bilateral nature between the young people of Albania and Serbia, and through the motivation of the French and German governments it received regional character,” said Koljenović.
After presidents of six different governments in the region signed the joint declaration at the Summit, regional working groups were formed, which worked on the preparation of all documents needed for the establishment of the office, strategic documents, activities and the like. The Working Group has worked intensively for three months through four meetings in Berlin, Belgrade, Tirana, Sarajevo and finally completed the evaluation meeting in Paris.
“Forum MNE, in cooperation with Defacto, conducted research in seven municipalities where the results show that young people in Montenegro have a certain degree of distance towards national categories, different religious groups, and especially towards gays and transgender individuals,” said Čirgić.
For the functioning of the office six regional governments allocated one million euros and expected are contributions and other funds, especially from the European Commission.
The board consists of six countries, two members from each country – one representative of the Government, and a youth representative. The Montenegro representative will be Director of the Directorate for Youth at the Ministry of Sport Dragan Koprivica, while the other representative will be Dimitrije Jovicevic.
General secretary was also elected, and announced was a call for Deputy Secretary-General, which is open until April 11th. For more information visit the link: www.rycowesternbalkans.org.