Regional programme “Dialogue for the Future” spotlights importance of social cohesion

COVID 19 crisis has painfully reminded of the importance of solidarity, working for the common good, trust in each other, and also in institutions

Podgorica, Beograd, Sarajevo – 26-27 April 2021

Social cohesion was at the heart of a two-day regional dialogue platform organized simultaneously in Podgorica, Sarajevo, and Belgrade to mark the end of the two-year regional program "Dialogue for the Future", which was jointly implemented in Montenegro, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina with the support of the United Nations.

The event which summarized results of the two-year regional program and suggested possible directions for further development of the initiative, gathered participants from national institutions of three participating countries, representatives of the United Nations, as well as representatives of numerous participants of the programme - citizens, NGOs, youth associations, educational institutions, media, etc. This was an opportunity to exchange experiences and lessons learned through cross-border cooperation, which was realized through 19 dialogue platforms, 19 cross-border projects that enabled 43 partnerships, 40 local projects of adolescents and youth in 33 municipalities, and reached over 5,000 direct beneficiaries.

DFF-PG
Panel discussion at the regional dialogue platform in Podgorica, Montenegro

Ever since the programme has been launched in January 2019, over 1,200 adolescents and young people have been trained in socio-emotional skills, advocacy, leadership, teamwork, mobile journalism, public policy processes, media and information literacy. In addition, 221 girls and women have been empowered for social activism through educational seminars on leadership, gender equality, social cohesion, 490 teachers and librarians were trained to teach media and information literacy and civic education, while 108 journalists and editors have learned about media literacy and objective reporting.

UN Resident Coordinator in Montenegro Peter Lundberg emphasized that the regional program unveiled enormous capacity for cooperation in the region.

During last two years, the DFF programme managed to identify and mobilize massive capacity among people in three countries to work together for common good and development, and to join efforts on capacity building, dialogue and boosting trust between people – all collectively contributing to social cohesion.

 

Peter Lundberg, UN Resident Coordinator in Montenegro

Lundberg pointed out that the COVID 19 crisis has painfully reminded on the importance of solidarity, working for the common good, trust in each other and also in institutions.

Director of the Directorate for cooperation with the UN at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro, Stanica Anđić referred to the implementation of the program, emphasizing that strengthening ties is one of the tools of social cohesion and that this project provided a clear overview of where it is necessary and possible to strengthen ties and at what levels it is necessary to connect people within smaller or larger communities, and also wider, in the regional context.

Montenegro firmly believes in a vision of the future based on the values of an open, tolerant and inclusive society, sustainable, smart and balanced development of all parts of the region, progress in further democratization of societies, implementation of necessary reforms, enabling citizens to take an active part in policymaking and development critical thinking.

 

Stanica Anđić, Director of the Directorate for cooperation with the UN at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro

Program activities in Montenegro involved more than 5,000 people, through strengthening the capacity of youth, women, media, teachers, but also through support for projects of young people and NGOs, as well as through dialogue platforms where many social actors jointly created solutions for improvement of social cohesion.

The UN Secretary-General Envoy for Youth Jayathma Wickramanayake pointed out that the results achieved through the DFF program show how much can be done when people from different countries come together and work together for the common good.

The pandemic has shown us that solidarity and cooperation are essential for recovery. Young people demand but also lead the change. They create innovative solutions for the development of societies around the world, and therefore must be part of the plan and decision-making.

 

Jayathma Wickramanayake, UN Secretary-General Envoy for Youth

Wickramanayake emphasized that UN stands ready to support young people in building a region looking forward nations ready to support them in that mission.

Joint UN regional program "Dialogue for the Future: Improving Dialogue and Social Cohesion in and between Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and the Republic of Serbia", funded by the UN Peacebuilding Fund, is implemented jointly by UNDP, UNICEF and UNESCO in partnership with state institutions in all three countries.

Written by
Author
Vlatko Otasevic
Communications Officer
RCO
RC Office Communication Officer
UN entities involved in this initiative
UN
United Nations