Publikuar më: 05/06/2022

Fjala e Ministrit të Shtetit për Rininë dhe Fëmijët në forumin e Asamblesë së Përgjithshme të UN

Zmadho tekstin Zvogëlo tekstin

Mr. President of the General Assembly,
Your excellencies,
Distinguished guests,
It is an immense honor that I join you today, in this debate of the general assembly, representing my government and more especially the youth of Albania, and for having the opportunity to exchange experiences which hopefully will shape our actions toward a more effective youth mainstreaming in crime prevention policies.
This forum, comes just few days after the UN Security Council meeting, which was chaired by the Albanian Prime Minister, Mr. Edi Rama, an attestation of our country’s commitment to international peace and security, dialogue and protection of human rights.
During the past two years, we, as a global community, were faced with extreme and unforeseen challenges, starting with the COVID-19 pandemic, which threatened our health and ways of life, and which had a profound impact, also on our youth, on their mental health and in other aspects we are still trying to fully understand today.
We are also witnessing, daily, all the atrocities happening in Ukraine, and the huge human rights, humanitarian and displacement crisis such war has brought upon those innocent people.
It is precisely in such times of war and armed conflict, that people understand the value of freedom of expression and information, as an instrument for lasting peace. As part of the Balkans, we have experienced war and war crimes, and we cannot accept that war crimes against innocents go unpunished and unanswered.
We owe it our children, to the children of the Ukraine, the children of the world, first to strive and ensure peace, and to hold accountable those that are responsible for such crimes.

To quote Aristotle “Good Habits formed in youth make all the difference”.
Principles and moral values taught in the family and communities can enable our youth to be involved and contribute to in decisions that provide best solutions and support the design of effective crime prevention policies.
For the first time through the support of the UN, in Albania, we have structured a methodology of policy making for youth, where they themselves outline the challenges and identify solutions.
Firstly, through youth centered discussions by making youth active agents of change, all over our country, through youth forums involving both high-schoolers, and university students.
These forums have further been consolidated in structures selected through transparent application processes to act as advisory boards at the municipal level to Albanian Mayors on youth related issues and in the form of a central advisory board to the minister responsible for youth, at the central policy level.
We hope and believe that, the involvement of our youth at the conception, devising, implementing and monitoring of youth policies with a multisectoral approach, will be a step forward to ensuring their ownership of these policies.
Albania is now in its final stages of consolidating its Youth Strategy, an intensive process which included open discussions across 68 schools in 22 regions.
This strategy reflects our youth’s needs and through their involvement, we have devised measures to provide youth friendly spaces and services, programs for gender equality, offering activities that divert young individuals from the path of crime, providing models that inspire youth through mentoring and skills development, as well as in school counselling.
In order to create policies that seek to engage the youth, it is imperative that we talk to the youth, we listen to them, understand their needs and challenges. It is on these basis, that our policies can be tailored and effective.

Youth crime prevention starts with early age education. For this reason we are preparing an extended program of afterschool activities, that will ensure that time after school is spent in enriching wellbeing and promoting a healthy lifestyle of productive activities starting from teaching technology courses, to gardening, arts, crafts and environmental and sustainability awareness, as well as sports.
Another aspect that we have targeted relates to the criminal justice reform. We have recently amended the Juvenile Justice Code, to ensure that imprisonment is last enforceable measure when it comes juvenile crimes, to shorten the time of imprisonment in sentences passed for such crimes, as well as promote programs that enable learning and training while Youth are serving their sentences, which provide more opportunities for productive activities and up skilling and easing their re-integration in the society.
Furthermore, we have expanded the scope of legal protection of the Criminal Justice Code for Minors to young people up to the age of 21.

Your excellencies,
Distinguished guests,
The path ahead of us is not an easy one.
Policies need to respond to the current and future challenges of our youth and I look forward to this discussion, so that we may share on our experiences and build on our successful initiatives.
When it comes to juvenile crime prevention and the role of youth in such frameworks, there is no truer quote as the one Frederick Douglas said “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

Thank you!