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Dialogue for the Future

Program description

The Dialogue for the Future project was developed on the initiative and under the auspices of the BiH Presidency, implemented from 2014 to 2017, and contributed to the establishment of a digital platform and the holding of a series of youth forums across the country.

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Program description

The Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence, together with UN agencies, UNDP, UNICEF and UNESCO, from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia, and with the support of the UN Peace building Fund, will work on the implementation of the Regional Dialogue for the Future project by December 2020, which is aimed at strengthening dialogue and social cohesion in / between Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia.

The aim of the project is to build confidence in the region through dialogue, policy recommendations and action in the field of shared priorities, while promoting social cohesion and cross-cultural understanding. Particular focus has been placed on the needs and importance of the role of young people as a necessary element for a stable process aimed at the future of cooperation in the region.

The Dialogue for the Future project was developed on the initiative and under the auspices of the BiH Presidency, in 2014 after discussions between the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. During 2015, at the Brdo-Brioni Summit in Budva, the leaders of the region recognised the importance of the results achieved within the project framework and encouraged its dissemination to other countries in the region.

The current situation in the region and relations between neighbours remain fragile and do not allow for lasting peace and reconciliation. The current narrative and rhetoric of divisions, mistrust and fear reflected in divided politics and the media contribute to a low level of trust in the region, poor cooperation between different social categories and poor or even negative dialogue. The whole region lacks sufficient, constructively built opportunities for cooperation, especially among young people. On the other hand, there is a lack of skills and attitudes that allow for appreciation of diversity and understanding of others. There is also a widespread lack of confidence in official structures, institutions and leaders. Trust building and regional cooperation are rarely used in any official political platform, even at the highest levels of government.

Such an environment especially touches young people who do not have the experience of living in a period of advancement of peace, stability and tolerance. Young people are little exposed to positive interaction, dialogue and collaboration with people of different backgrounds. Young people are increasingly choosing to migrate from the country rather than stay and work to build a better future for the community.

During the second phase of the project, teams of United Nations agencies in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and the Republic of Serbia will work with representatives of institutions and civil society actors to develop a joint regional program aimed at:

  • Supporting dialogue and joint action around shared priorities;
  • Empowering adolescents and young people for constructive engagement and leadership;
  • Fostering intercultural dialogue;
  • Strengthening objective media reporting and positive storytelling;
  • Promoting social and political empowerment of young girls and women.

The project will work with youth as a priority target group to create a group of future leaders with the capacity of a new generation of collaborative leadership skills. Young people will have the opportunity to discuss challenges that particularly affect young people, such as the Global Sustainable Development Goals, Education, Culture and the brain drain problem. Young people will therefore be empowered to conduct dialogues, on issues that particularly affect them.

As part of the joint activities on the project, the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence will, from March 2019 to December 2020, carry out a series of activities: 4 seminars, 2 hackathons, a regional topic discussion, subregional and national dialogue, as well as an academic event. In addition to participants from Serbia, the project will bring together participants from other countries in the region involved in the implementation of the project: Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. All activities will be aimed at young decision-makers and decision-makers, professionals, activists, entrepreneurs up to 30 years of age, who will work together to share knowledge and experience, open space for a new approach to building, above all, confidence in the region. As well as enabling them to become active participants and drivers of change, to cooperate with one another in policy development, with a view to overcoming the key challenges facing the region.

With the Dialogue for the Future project, BFPE continues to bring together relevant actors at the regional level and continues to implement activities that have marked the previous 15 years of BFPE’s existence. In the spirit of projects such as the Regional Academy for Democracy, we continue to work on regional integration, creating conditions for fostering dialogue, educating young people, which is the main feature and characteristic of BFPE.

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