From 30th of September till 4th of October 2013, seven AEGEE members from different parts of the network had an opportunity to meet in the Polish capital of Warsaw to attend the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM) of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
The Organization for Social Co-operation in Europe has 57 Participating States, as well as five Central Asian countries, Canada and the United States of America. Every year in September, their governments send delegations to the HDIM in Warsaw. At this conference, which lasts two weeks, all critical questions related to human rights and democracy are discussed. The national delegations have representatives to present the progress their governments made in these fields. But there are also non-governmental organisations (NGOs) at the conference, with AEGEE being this year the only youth organization present. Its delegation had the youngest members in attendance of the HDIM.
The agenda covered various fields: election observation missions, immigration policies, press freedom, juridical corruption, discrimination of minorities. During the plenary sessions, every delegation can make a statement about the topic of that session. More open debate takes place outside the plenary hall in the so-called side events that are mostly organised by NGOs. As an NGO delegation, we can participate in all the sessions and occasionally contribute with some questions. But our main interest lies in networking inside and outside the meeting room.
The AEGEE delegation had a meeting with representatives of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). Primarily we were in contact with the office of Mr Marcin Walecki, Chief of the Democratic Governance and Gender Unit, who in fact is a former AEGEE member himself. The AEGEE delegation was a surprise to such a serious meeting, delegates were impressed to see the participation of a youth organization for the first time in the HDIM.
In 2014, the OSCE Chairmanship will be held by Switzerland and probably the best news is that one of their aims is to focus on youth.
Anca Gliga, Peace Architect, was one of the members of AEGEE’s delegation to Warsaw.