In the framework of the ”Building Partnership for Youth, Peace and Security” Project aiming at building a structured network of Civil Society Organizations, academics, and regional and international partners, two Co-design workshops were organized, respectively on 12th-13th February and 5th-6thMarch.
These workshops facilitated by Alba Brojka – Former Special Representative on Youth and Security, Slovak and Albanian Chairperson in the Office of the OSCE, served as a joint working process for the design of the National Network on “Youth, Peace, and Security”. Through bringing together all the identified stakeholders (selected based on their shown interest, proven track record, diversity of their approach on peace and peacebuilding, and their shown contribution throughout the introductory phase), the two workshops will follow a step-by-step approach: starting with the concept-structure of the Network; its’ legal designation and Rules of Functioning and Organization; its’ working priorities throughout the inception year.
This process is a joint effort of the United Nations Association Albania and the National Youth Congress, actively engaged and contributing to youth work, in the framework of “Tirana European Youth Capital”, as well as the support of the Public Affairs Office of the US Embassy in Tirana. The aim is to advocate for the introduction of youth-friendly processes within the policy-making structures, regional collaboration, and civic education domains.
The first workshop was implemented on February 12th-13th, bringing together representatives of civil society organizations, student organizations/councils, informal youth groups, regional organizations, and international partners active in Albania, etc. The meeting started with a general overview of the security context and the implementation of the ”Youth Peace and Security” Agenda in Albania. The discussion was complemented by the presentation of Ms. Heidi Sarineen – Project Coordinator on Peacebuilding Education from UN Association Finland on the Finish experience and best practices of building a National Network on Youth, Peace, and Security. (Note: Finland is the first country in the world that has established a national plan, materializing the steps for the on-ground implementation of the “Youth Peace and Security” Agenda.)
Following the presentation, the activity followed a more practical approach: The participants were divided into groups and worked on their suggestions for the structure, membership, the Rules of functioning, vision, and mission of the Network. Based on the workshop’s conclusions, the future members of the Network shall be Civil Society Organizations, student councils and organizations, informal groups, activists, and academic institutions. Their membership will fall under different membership categories depending on the party’s commitment. Participants decided that the Mission of the Network is to promote the values of peace and security through the active, full, and meaningful engagement of youth. The Network will work on the on-ground implementation of the Agenda through a national action-plan, awareness-raising efforts on the ”Youth Peace Security Agenda”, and its promotion as a cross-sectoral issue, etc.
The second meeting of the workshop was held on March 5th-6th, to further define the Network’s Structure and work out a common vision. The workshop started with an overview of the last session touching upon topics such as: the responsibilities of the Network’s structures, areas of work and key documents of the Network. Throughout the event, the discussion focused on the vision and objectives of the Network setting up the grounds for its future work.
Days of active discussion, brainstorming and practical exercises led participants to this formulation of the Network’s vision:
Network for Youth Peace and Security aspires toward a just and free society, where youth play an active role in building peace and a sustainable democracy.
These co-design workshops were concluded with the signing of the Declaration of Commitment, at the opening ceremony of the Youth Peace Forum 2022, a step ahead showing their further contribution and commitment on the Network Building Process.
** These activities are organized with the support of the National Youth Congress in the framework of Tirana European Youth Capital 2022, as well as the support of the Public Affairs Office of the US Embassy in Tirana.
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