“I would like to override the rhetoric of young people being future leaders. This project calls on young Serbian people to be leaders today, to be promoters of initiatives of social innovation and enrichment of the social, cultural, environmental and, in broader meaning, political context in which they live. Italy wants to support the civic commitment of the new generations to foster the development of Serbia in every sphere,” said the Italian Ambassador to Serbia, Luca Gori, presenting the project “Peer Mentoring Programme for Promotion of Human Rights, Gender Equality and Higher Youth Participation in Serbia”, financed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and implemented by the UN System, via agencies UNFPA and UN Women.
The coordinator of the UN Office in Belgrade, Francoise Jacob, noted that the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda has indicated 17 goals, many of which can be pursued with the direct involvement of the young generations, through grassroots actions, in society and also in the most marginal social and territorial contexts, where the action of young people is most needed to avoid amplifying the effects of peripherality. “Through this project, we will provide the necessary tools and resources to increase the participation of young people in decision-making processes and create a more inclusive and fairer society”, Ms Jacob added.
Serbian Deputy Minister for Youth and Tourism, Ivana Antonijevic, spoke about her Ministry’s commitment to the issue: “The role of young people is very important in recognising human rights issues. We have taken into account the inclusive youth policy in the drafting of all strategic documents. The basic principles in the Youth Act are the principles of equality and prohibition of discrimination, as well as equal opportunities, raising awareness of the importance of young people and their role in society, and the principles of youth support”, she added.
The Pandora string quartet, which members are all under the age of 25, had a musical performance at the event.
The project will last throughout 2023 and involves six Serbian municipalities, where specific initiatives will take place. The total project funding is 130,000 euro, of which 101,880 euro was donated by the Italian Embassy.
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