Advocating the voice of the youth at the EUSBSR Annual Forum
June 13-14 the BSSSC participated in the EUSBSR (EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region) 8th Annual Forum. At the forum we arranged a seminar about youth inclusion.
The theme of the 8th Annual Forum of the EUSBSR was connectivity. The forum underlined the necessity to intensify contacts throughout the Baltic Sea Region including its neighboring regions to develop a better awareness of each other’s perspectives. Key note speakers were among others Sigmar Gabriel, German Federal Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor of Germany, and Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Finland and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. The BSSSC especially welcomed the latter speaker's emphasis on the need to invest in youth.
During the forum, the BSSSC, Union of the Baltic Cities and Euroregion Baltic - ERB arranged a workshop on youth inclusion called "Nothing about us without us - making it happen". The three organizations presented their work on youth, and representatives from the three respective youth networks were also present to have their say in youth inclusion in the Baltic Sea Region. The interesting discussions between youth, politicians and civil officers that followed illustrated the vast differences of young people's situation in each country. While some felt their voices were being heard, others felt hopeless and wanted to move abroad. It was pointed out that even in hopeless times it will get better and that they must not give up fighting - raising your voice is an important part of democracy.
Roger Ryberg, Chairman of the BSSSC summed up the seminar by saying that "the situation for young people in the Baltic Sea Region today also underlines the extreme importance for organizations such as ours to keep on pushing for youth inclusion and their right to be heard. They are the future, after all."
The BSSSC has two seats in our Board reserved for youth. One of our youth board members, Ms. Kari Lie, participated in the seminar "Connecting the voice of youth for a sustainable future of the Baltic Sea region". At the seminar it was concluded that the sustainable development goals (SDG) of the UN must be better communicated, as many yong people work with areas that are included in the SDGs, but they are not aware of this because the youth are not familiar with the SDGs and what they stand for. Including the SDGs in education is therefore of strong importance, says Ms. Kari Lie.
Read the whole summary for the seminar.
See more pictures in our gallery.