"Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe".
“Let no man be called an infidel unless he has harmed another”.

The European Center for Peace and Development (ECPD) Belgrade and United Nations-mandated University for Peace has already, home page posted, the upcoming event and 5th Youth Forum. It will be transacted in the City Hall of Belgrade, (October, 28-29, 2017). The Youth Forum is a recent activity of the ECPD. The ECPD is making considerable effort to push youth higher up the regional agenda. Youth must be given an even higher social priority! Youth must be given greater skills and its socio-political engagement strengthened. Youth must be better dovetailed into its multiple worlds. Youth must become an evolving force.

The ECPD emphasizes cultures for peace, religious tolerance, and respect for human rights and a society for all ages. The implementation of the Road to Dignity by 2030 outlined by the UN Secretary-General can promote an alternative life approach to consumerism and materialism and take out bumps on the way to its achievement as well as help transform the lives of Youth and protect the planet. These are essential ingredients for unity and sustainability and can give Youth more hope in lieu of hopelessness.

The Youth Forum first surfaced within the framework of the activity, Balkans in the 21st Century, a pointer to peace and stability and finally arrived after a period of gestation. Your presence may just make a noticeable regional difference! Your presence will make an important difference and your voice will be heard!

The upcoming event provides an instrument to discuss problem solving within a framework of a world staggering from inequality, societies in crisis and weakening democratic values. The context is the new global digital space and widespread fiscal austerity. The background is also one of denial, denial of disastrous climate changes from a planet running down, mass migration along highly dangerous corridors as well as terrorism that viscously takes away innocent lives. The mindset of concern yells that little time is left for looking back and that much greater effort is needed to save and shape the future. This will be made better known in Belgrade.

Aims of the Belgrade Youth Forum are to provide a knowledge network for Balkan youth within culture, health, education and work and to give YOUTH a better crack at changing their world for the better. Another aim is to develop citizenship, civic and civil practices and cultivate a better sense of true belonging. The upcoming Fifth Youth Forum (Belgrade, 28-29 October 2017) will be transacted within an uncertain regional space and a problematic world. Its banner is “Youth Peacebuilders for a sustainable Future”. Come to Belgrade with your forward looking mindset and your concerns. Bring your ideas and say what citizenship means or should mean to you. Tell your audience of your community initiatives. Do you want a peaceful and inclusive society? Can we build Youth leadership? Can we encourage peace-building, reduce violence or counter extremism? Youth can stimulate society to “think out the box” and push it in difficult directions.

One outcome thus far and much appreciated by this writer is the level of inter-generational solidarity expressed by youth participants in their acceptance and warmth towards older contributors in all past Youth Forums. Pasquale Baldocci is one of the seniors, an Italian diplomat, poet and humanitarian who was present in Rome, 1957. In Pula, 2016, he took youth on a fascinating journey, from the Ventotone Manifesto, through Coal and Steel, Treaties of Rome (Common Market, EURATOM), the agony of BREXIT and addressed the urgent need to reform European institutions. Many participants underscored that implementation of European projects in our times cannot be done using thinking from past centuries. A new mindset is called for! Another 3rd age stimulus came from an inspiring discourse on man’s higher purpose and values worth striving for within a better society. As one young participant from Finland Hannah Kekale said, young people are born into a different world. Her father got his first mobile phone at 35, her grandfather at 85, and her great grandfather didn’t have one. Life is changing at breakneck speed, trucks drive themselves and computers translate sentences with almost human-like accuracy; globalization gets faster. Exemplary participant reports have been produced, for example one by Kristina Tolic, from Croatia.

The ECPD, considers it imperative that young people in the Balkans and everywhere receive a deeper understanding of status and circumstances of their region, workings of the European Union as well as erudite interpretations of events in their global world. Participant Marjana Gorgieva promoted the instruments of consolidation, conditionality and communication together with developments in effective diplomacy as a means to underscore the advantages of belonging to the supranational EU. In the same vein the ECPD desires greater communication with Youth and is a health diplomacy activity on its well developed diplomatic studies. The 5th Youth Forum has arrived and because of the work of a dedicated team of young people in Belgrade; Ljiljana, Irena, Irena, Luka , Mirjana, Ana, Aleksandar. They are the real facilitators of the event. Come to the beckoning multicultural Balkans and meet them.

If you are between 18 and 35, come to Belgrade and help nurture a new generation of Youth leaders. Make new friends! Connect. Apply by June 30, 2017 . Take the fast track to leadership. Make it known and facilitate the 5th Balkan Youth Forum in your own networks. See you soon in Belgrade!

• Youth for maintaining peace: the role of knowledge. Proceedings of fist two youth forums (ECPD, 2015)
Declaration on Implementation of the Human Security Concept in the Balkan Region
• Jeffrey Levett, John Kyriopoulos: Public health in the Balkan region: one school's experience
• Levett Jeffrey, John Kyriopoulos, Contributing to Balkan Public Health: a School for Skopje
• Skopje Declaration on Public Health, Peace and Human Rights 2001 Croatian MJ
• Jeffrey Levett, Takehiro Togo: Health Diplomacy, WFPHA