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First Meeting of CEI Youth Agenda held on margins of 18th Bled Strategic Forum

The inaugural gathering on the CEI Youth Agenda was organised on the sidelines of the 18th Bled Strategic Forum (BSF) in Bled, Slovenia on 29 August. The meeting brought together institutional representatives designated by CEI Member States, responsible for shaping youth policies, education, and other vital youth-related matters.

Strategically situated within the dynamic and inspiring atmosphere of the Bled high-level international conference, preceded by the 12th Young Bled Strategic Forum, the event aimed to foster discussions on youth-centric agendas of high strategic significance.

CEI Deputy Secretary General, Zsuzsanna Kiraly who opened the gathering, briefed participants on the origin of the CEI Youth Agenda included in the "Trieste Declaration," ratified by the CEI Ministers of Foreign Affairs on 12 June, 2019. This document highlighted, in particular, the pivotal role of young citizens in shaping the future of societies and directed the CEI-Executive Secretariat to collaborate with CEI Member States in formulating a "CEI’s Agenda for Youth."

CEI Senior Executive Officer, Slavena Radovanovic, who moderated the event, emphasised that the development of the CEI Youth Agenda aligned with the broader objective of enhancing collaboration between the CEI and the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); and that youth's active involvement in implementing the SDGs was highlighted as crucial, recognising their potential to drive positive change at local and global levels.

In summary, discussions revolved around ways in which the CEI could interpret the specific challenges of the region and address the needs of its youth in a more incisive manner. 

There was a general agreement on the importance of setting goals that reflect the needs emerging from relevant findings and recommendations collected directly from the youth, yet goals that are realistic and that may be reachable within a reasonably short time frame. The discussions also underlined the need and opportunities to establish close cooperation with other relevant actors active in the sector of youth.

The CEI has a longstanding cooperation with the Bled Strategic Forum and supports the organisation of the Young BSF under the CEI Cooperation Fund.

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