Young people called for action to reimagine a better future for every child

Children and young people took center stage at an event to mark World Children’s Day

20 November 2021
Girl wearing white t-shirt giving speech on stage at World Children's Day event

Skopje, 20 November 2021 – Today, on World Children’s Day, under the auspice of the President Stevo Pendarovski, decision makers joint children and young people to hear their calls to actions, and discuss what they can do to reimagine a better future for every child.

Every year on 20 November – to mark the signing of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child – we celebrate World Children’s Day, an annual day of action for children, by children.

This year, three young speakers took center stage at the event Reimagine the future of every child and young people and presented Youth Calls to Action focusing on the three themes that young people of North Macedonia identified as the most important to them: quality education, environment and quality of life.

“I would like to call on all key institutions working on child and youth issues to join their efforts in creating a better future for children. The voice of young people must be heard and embedded in all decision-making processes. Reimagining the future must begin now because without reimagining our present time we can’t reimagine any future,” said the President Stevo Pendarovski.

“The issues that young people raised today - quality education, a sustainable environment, and quality of life - are the foundations of sustainable development,” said Patrizia DiGiovanni, UNICEF Representative. “Therefore, responding to these calls requires energy and commitment from across society.”

During the event decision makers, including members of the parliament, representatives of international organizations and experts had an opportunity to hear more from youth speakers and engage in a close dialogue during smaller group discussions led by youth. They also discussed what concrete actions can be taken to address the issues in each of the three themes.

“One of the biggest issues in our current education system is its theoretical approach. Not having an opportunity for practical application, our knowledge, is just short-lasting information.  We need technical and soft skills that are relevant not just for the job market today, but for a job market that is constantly evolving. The formal education system is putting emphasis on our academic success but is not providing us with enough opportunities for practice, innovation and career management,” said Stanisha, Stankovikj, university student. 

Talking about environment protection, climate change education and more resilient urban planning, Iva Trpeski, fourteen year old elementary school student from Kicevo said: “Too many of our green spaces and recreation areas have been destroyed and replaced with construction sites. This problem is pointed out not only by my fellow citizens, but also by young people from all over the country. Urban chaos, noise and heavy traffic affect us every day. We need greener communities for healthier and happier lives, better physical and mental health, and better quality of life.“

Fourteen year old elementary school student from Skopje Erza Rustemi raised the issue of quality of life with no violence and called for communities where children will be respected, valued and treated fairly. She asked the decision makers to ensure all children and young people are able to participate in all activities, access all services without discrimination and are fully included in all ways of life in their communities.

The event was part of a yearlong ‘Reimagine the Future’ youth consultation initiative which was organized under the auspices of the President Pendarovski to create space for young people from around the country to share their views and ideas on the solutions to address the biggest challenges affecting their lives and futures.

Find out more about the Youth Calls to Action:

Reimagine the future - Youth Calls to Action (MKD)

Reimagine the future - Youth Calls to Action (ALB)

Reimagine the future - Youth Calls to Action (ENG)

Media contacts

Suzie Pappas Capovska
Tel: (02) 3231-244
Irina Ivanovska
Tel: (02) 3231-172


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