Conference Report: Bled Strategic Forum '19

YBSF 2019

BHA UN representatives took part at (Young) Bled Strategic Forum held from August 31 - September 2, 2019. At the YBSF, BHA UN representatives participated in a number of activities aimed at increasing regional cooperation and finding creative ways in finding solutions to some of the most pressing global issues such as climate change, sustainable development, and regional cooperation. In addition to a number of highly dedicated ambitious agents for change coming from the Western Balkans, the subsequent conference - Bled Strategic Forum - was held under auspices of the President of Slovenia, H.E. Mr. Borut Pahor and attended by high dignitaries such as H.E. Ms. María Fernanda Espinosa, President of the UNGA 73rd Session, and H.E. Ms. Kersti Kaljulaid, President of Estonia.

The Panel Discussion titled “Let’s talk about Cross-Regional Cooperation: WB6 and V4”, and in which panelists were members of the Diplomatic Corps in Slovenia from the Western Balkans and Visegrad 4 countries, was moderated by BHA UN President, Mr. Mak Selimović.

At the margins of the YBSF, Program Director of YBSF and Vice-President of BHA UN, Ms. Meliha Muherina, along with President of BHA UN, Mr. Mak Selimović had an opportunity to talk to H.E. Ms. Espinosa and present the United Nations Youth Delegate Program of Bosnia and Herzegovina. H.E. Ms. Espinosa supported and encouraged the BHA UN representatives to establish the UN Youth Delegate Program of BiH noting that youth engagement in decision-making process is detrimental for achieving the Agenda 2030. Furthermore, President of BHA UN, Mr. Mak Selimović discussed the UN Youth Delegate Program of BiH with the Slovenian UN Youth Delegate, Mr. Patrik Bole, as well as the modalities of future cooperation and mutual support.

The Young Bled Strategic Forum (Young BSF) is an annual conference bringing together young leaders to engage in lively discussion and develop out-of-the-box solutions to some of the most pressing world issues. The Young BSF model has grown and changed over time and Young BSF has become a unique meeting place for a diverse array of young leaders, entrepreneurs, influencers, thinkers and social activists, offering them a platform to share their visions, exchange ideas and connect with one-another. The Young BSF 2019 hosted a number of young leaders under the title “Youth as a (Future) (Re)source”.

Young BSF 2019 reflected the topics of the BSF and focused on sources and resources of (in)stability, looking to young people as a (re)source for the future. The young people that attended this year’s edition of Young BSF proved that youth is a valuable resource in many ways.

Special emphasis at the Young BSF was given to cross-regional cooperation. A new generation of leaders demonstrated that such cooperation is not only necessary, but indeed inevitable for positive next steps in democratization, advancement of human rights, sustainable development, women’s empowerment, counter-terrorism and addressing climate change.

Strong, committed and inclusive democratic youth leadership is of crucial importance for the process of democratization, conscientious European integration and future EU expansion in general. In our efforts to build a structured regional cooperation, we must therefore bring young leaders on board in order to build tighter ties among civil societies, offer room for youth-to-youth exchanges, and enable a continuous flow of information and knowledge both among EU Member States and with non-EU states.

Youth, being an essential cornerstone of dynamic civil societies, should be given an opportunity to:
• Contribute to regional integration,
• Be the herald of European values and democratic leadership with dedication and perseverance,
• Identify topics of common interest and tackle issues of shared concern for communities in the region.