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6th Conference of European Ministers responsible for Youth

Thessaloniki, Greece, 7-9 November 2002

Resolution on the situation of young people in conflict areas

“Youth constructing Europe”

At the beginning of the 21st century, it must be acknowledged that Europe is confronted with multiple situations of instability associated with open or latent conflicts. Today in Europe, there are ex-servicemen who are not yet thirty years old, young people who cannot leave their enclaves and children who were expelled from their homelands.

Young people in Europe who are confronted with such situations naturally desire ‘a normal life’ and try to fulfill their dreams and this, often in a hostile environment, in destroyed towns and within societies that must learn reconciliation. Many of them, as for a large number of citizens, are confronted on an almost daily basis, with precarious situations, xenophobia, racism, discrimination, authoritarianism and corruption. As a result of this situation, many young people try to leave their country. This threatens the economic, social and cultural development of these areas.

In this unstable context, where the future is often a question of whether one should stay or leave, there are, all the same, many young people who believe that through their action and their voluntary commitment, they can change things.

The willingness of many young people in these areas to improve their future is a message of hope, the underlying meaning of which is fully recognised within the theme of the 6th Conference of European Ministers responsible for Youth: ‘Youth constructing Europe’. These young people should be encouraged other than by mere talk.

Thus, we, European Ministers meeting in Thessaloniki for the 6th Conference of European Ministers responsible for Youth of the Council of Europe,

Agree that the Council of Europe should, in the future:

MJN-6 (2002) 6 rev. 1