Macdonald: Encourage young people to become leaders and agents of positive change

83,000 young people (population aged 15 to 30) who live in the Sarajevo Canton, more than 50 percent of them show an interest in leaving the country

Macdonald: Encourage young people. Muamer Selimbegović


One of the UN studies shows that the number of inhabitants in Bosnia and Herzegovina could fall to around 1.5 million in the next 50 years, as evidenced by current trends, increasingly frequent departures of entire families and young people, who should be the backbone of economic growth and development. According to another survey, of the 83,000 young people (population aged 15 to 30) who live in the Sarajevo Canton, more than 50 percent of them show an interest in leaving the country.

This was highlighted today at the conference entitled 'Creating a Brighter Future for Young People in Sarajevo', which was organized in the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina by the Office of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in BiH in partnership with the Government of Sarajevo Canton and the Ministry of Science, Higher Education and Youth.

Assumptions for youth

The alarming indicators regarding depopulation, which is gaining momentum, and the need to stop these trends were the impetus for organizing a conference dedicated to young people with a focus on the situation and creating assumptions for better relations with young people in the Sarajevo Canton.

The Resident Coordinator of the UN in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ingrid Macdonald, pointed out that the conference is dedicated to the drafting of the Sarajevo Canton Youth Strategy for the period 2024-2028, underlining the readiness of the UN to support its drafting together with UNFPA and in partnership with Kosovo.

- We will focus on encouraging young people to become leaders and initiators of positive changes - said Macdonald in a statement to media.

She reminded that the UN works with young people, not only in the Sarajevo Canton, but also throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, and that in this regard, UNFPA is the initiator of the initiative - the Laboratory for Youth, Peace and Politics.

Call for young people

Macdonald called on all young people to raise their voices and actively participate in all processes, including various programs oriented towards the comprehensive engagement of members of that population in social and economic terms.

The Prime Minister of the Sarajevo Canton, Nihad Uk, referring to the importance of the conference, stated that it is a new approach to the creation of strategic documents in the Sarajevo Canton and that the youth strategy is the most important document in this respect.

In addition to expressing gratitude to the partners, Uk emphasized the need to create an environment in which young people will have better living conditions, and opportunities to advance and stay in the country, in contrast to the ever-present trend of young and educated people leaving BiH.

Youth of Sarajevo

Minister of Science, Higher Education and Youth Pavle Krstić pointed out the importance of creating, adopting and implementing a quality and effective strategy dedicated to the youth of the Sarajevo Canton, focusing on the field of education.

Sajra Kustura, a young activist and member of the UN advisory committee for youth, said that the participation of young people is an integral part of the aforementioned strategy, stressing the need for more comprehensive information about the opportunities available to them.

The conference "Creating a Brighter Future for Young People in Sarajevo" gathered decision-makers, representatives of the governmental and non-governmental sectors, and the academic community.

The youth strategy aims to improve the quality of life of young people in Sarajevo Canton through a comprehensive plan and is aimed at meeting the real needs of young people and facilitating their growth and development through support mechanisms and various initiatives.

The conference was realized within the framework of the United Nations regional initiative "Youth for Inclusion, Equality and Trust", which is financially supported by the Peacebuilding Fund of the UN Secretary-General.