Celebrating United Nations Day: It’s Youth Time

Monday, 29 October, 2018

Five young people were awarded with special recognition during the celebrations of United Nations Day in Albania. The event dedicated to youth called “It’s Youth Time” was organized by the UN in partnership with the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs.

The five-young people who received awards have become role models through their initiative, commitment and actions.

From an entrepreneur who has successfully established and operates a business, to a strong advocate of women’s empowerment and gender equality, from a person with disability who has turned into a role model for the society, to a Roma who has overcome stigma and a young person working to bring youth voices in the development discourse- all the nominated young people represent a driving force for change.

Brian James Williams, United Nations Resident Coordinator says: "The United Nations at the General Assembly in September launch Youth2030, a global strategy to make sure that the world's 1.8 billion youth are empowered to achieve their potential, engaged in public decision-making, and supported to find and enact solutions to development challenges.  Here in Albania the UN family is proud to be working across the board to expand youth employment, education and training, improve access health care and services and become agents to achieve the SDGs". During UN Day celebrations, UN and the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) launched a joint project that will be implemented across the Western Balkans for a period of eighteen months with the financial support of UN Peace Building Fund. Launching the project, Đuro Blanuša, RYCO Secretary General said: “Regional approach to dialogue and reconciliation is now needed more than ever in the Western Balkans. Peaceful cooperation between our societies, especially between our youth, is of a key importance if we want to create a better and prosperous region that is part of the EU and the world.

The Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Ditmir Bushati underlined:” Albania is aware about the challenges and opportunities ahead, therefore we have committed ourselves in the global partnership for sustainable development. As already mentioned, a few months ago, the Albanian Government presented to the High Level Political Forum in New York its National Voluntary Review on the progress pace regarding the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in our country. The review finds out that more than 80% of the 2030 Agenda Goals are already reflected in the main pillars of our National Strategy for Development and Integration, therefore capitalizing on the reforms related to the process of European Integration. The serious commitment of the European Union to open the negotiations for accession with Albania in June 2019 is precisely grounded on the progress and process of reforms for the future Albania, and it will be e great impetus for further thorough and sustainable reforms. The ones that will accomplish the complete coronation of this project will be the today’s 20-25 year olds, who will serve as the future leaders. Indeed, progress does not only stem from large reforms or legal amendments. Very often, it’s the practical and modest actions, or small and substantial steps that make the difference. The decisions that we have taken on removing the infamous plastic bags from the circulation, the measures on saving water, administering energy by starting with paying the energy bills, the frequent campaigns on cleaning the territory and beaches, Urban Renaissance to the benefit of a sustainable environmental development, enhancing in multiple quantities the green areas and sports grounds, constitute only some of the steps undertaken in a process of changing the mindset as a whole and as part of the education for the young generation in particular.

The Sustainable Development Goals  and Agenda 2030  have placed youth engagement at heart of discussion and actions. Young people were “the loudest voice” in the My World survey, in which almost 10 million people across the world and around 5000 in Albania alone, made their voices heard during the UN consultations for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Their voices are well reflected in the 17 SDGs and Agenda 2030

United Nations in Albania have partnered with government and other stakeholders to support youth employment though skills development and innovative programmes, promote young people’s access to reproductive health services and reached out to youth with disability, Roma, juveniles in conflict with the law and the fight against domestic violence.

24th October marks the United Nations Day. The United Nations officially came into existence on 24 October 1945, when the UN Charter had been ratified by a majority of the original 51 Member States. The day is now celebrated each year around the world as United Nations Day.