“Nineties. Remembered by the European countries as a decade of establishing the European Union, improving citizens’ life standard, making numerous adjustments in the justice system, and, in general, reforming all spheres of life – it is considered by many as a golden age of modern Europe. This, however, does not apply to the countries of the Balkans region. While the rest of the European countries were flourishing in all areas of life, the territory of the Western Balkans, my dear students, was destroyed and exhausted with war turmoil’s, poverty, grief and inhumanity.
War criminals, in cold blood, committed genocides against people begging for their lives, and after all that horror were represented as war heroes in their countries and respected as role models. Many of them had their images turned into graffiti art on the walls of elementary and high schools – the susceptible, poorly informed, youth saw them as idols. This is the reason why we are stuck here, in this neverland, we spin around our own misery, afraid of being harmed again, of dealing with someone better than us…”
I remember these words of my history teacher very vividly, the words he tried to wane our passions with and lessen the influence of society which continues to drag us down and turn us to hatred and aggression. With all due respect, I think that there are many of those who held that kind of speech before my teacher, but in reality it had no good results. Thus I am in a dire need of expressing my attitudes towards the ways of solving all these problems, overcoming the past, and creating new politics – youth reconciliation politics.
There is an indisputable saying: “The world belongs to the young”. Nevertheless, the elderly left us in a very complicated position, which can only be handled by our own efforts. That was the first obstacle – facing all the troubles, not sweeping them under the carpet and blending them with sarcasm and scepticism. We are the only ones who can solve these problems. Having that settled, we made the first step. Second step would be the readiness of the young from all the countries which participated in the ’90s affairs, to cooperate “through dialogue and other legitimate channels”, as the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, has said. Every country respectively would have an authorized body or institution for the youth on a national level – the one that organizes debates, competitions and seminars where young people from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Serbia and Kosovo could get in touch, embrace the fact that they share a lot of things in common, deal with mutual problems, and, as a reward, make life-long friends.
One could ask where does the money for such an endeavor come from…?! Instead of wasting money on weapon trafficking which serves destructive causes solely, it is abundantly clear that the money should be spent for projects of tolerance and peace. Every country would benefit from it. This approach to the matter is the only one that makes a noticeable change, because, rest assured, nothing good can come out of practicing violence. Fortunately, the evil forces have always had an antidote, and it is contained in those forces which function for the greater good – for the safety of our world. For this reason I am more than willing to contribute to the project which demands a lot of enthusiasm, risk and struggle, but it is quite possible, objective and, most importantly, fruitful.
The young should be turned to and familiarized with the goal of reconciliation – the goal which would stay in their minds as some kind of a guidebook to look into wherever they go, and whatever they do. This moral codex should be nurtured within the family, given that it condemns fighting and hostility, and celebrates love, good will, humanity and forgiveness.
To conclude with, what matters most is good organization and the will to interact with other countries of the region – a special bond achieved through various projects made of young people’s teams for monitoring and implementing good-hearted ideals. Investing in the youth is never a waste of money. Quite the opposite – it is the money best spent.