The OSCE Youth Summit, organized by the Ukrainian OSCE Chairmanship, started today in the International Children’s Center “Artek” in Crimea, bringing together more than 500 young people from across the OSCE participating States and Partners for Co-operation.
The event aims at promoting tolerance and non-discrimination, respect for diversity, peaceful development and friendship as well as raising awareness of OSCE activities among young people.
Opening the event the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara, said: “We are convinced that youth participation can bring added value to the OSCE in order to achieve the goals and purposes of the Organization. Young people should be given a voice.” He added that “young people clearly have a role to play in challenging discrimination and in promoting diversity, mutual respect and understanding”.
Ukrainian Minister of Social Policy Natalya Korolevska said: "Artek is a truly unique place where mutual understanding and positive energy reign, and this is symbolic that the event is taking place here." She added that she hoped the initiative would be continued in the future.
OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier, outlined the work of the OSCE in promoting dialogue on security issues and said: “Young people must be involved in this dialogue, as discussions about security today affect their future. The policies that we are devising must take into account and respect the differences between us."
The OSCE Youth Summit takes place in Crimea, Ukraine, from 20 July to 1 August 2013 under the motto “Our difference is our wealth, our unity is our strength”. It is intended to facilitate contacts between youth representatives through training sessions, workshops, competitions and festivities.