Nikolina Bonic, Serbia
Considering that in our region there are groups of people who undermine peace and thus bring our societies back to conflict, it is extremely important what kind of official stance stakeholders towards these groups have. Are they building their power on subservience to such groups or are they determined to build peace and stability regardless of the number of votes that promoters of conflict-mongering ideas bring?
Declaratively, everyone is in favor of peace, but the facts show that for previous generations, past wounds haven’t healed. This keeps societies from progressing, and thanks to this we have been spinning in a circle for thirty years. Fortunately, there are young adults who want to build better communities out of those they grew up in. Only when decision-makers show a willingness to listen to our opinions, when public institutions show readiness to stand behind these ideas, provide them with support and start cooperation, only then will we know that our societies have moved forward.
Shared Futures: Youth Perceptions on Peace in the Western Balkans was conducted by UNDP, in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO). It was developed through a uniquely participatory research process which involved a youth advisory group, representing youth across the Western Balkans region, in the design of the study framework and the analysis of its findings. The study is based on quantitative and qualitative data collected through a regional survey and several focus group discussions between December 2020 and April 2021.
*For the UN, all references to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999).
For RYCO, this designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with Security Council Resolution 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.