Youth engagement is vital for democracy #Forum2000online

June 3, 2021

This video was prepared as part of the International Coalition for Democratic Renewal and its Youth Working Group, which addresses the role of young active people in supporting democracy and human rights.

“I would say that the only maybe long-lasting and sustainable changes are brought up when young people or people in general are creating communities.“ 

Jelena Milutinović is the Head of Development of Youth Initiative for Human Rights based in Serbia. As an experienced human rights educator who is highly dedicated to promoting civil society, she also participates in one of Forum 2000's initiatives - the International Coalition for Democratic Renewal. In this week's #Forum2000online Chat, Mrs Milutinović talks about the importance of youth engagement in shaping the democratic future of Serbia and other East European countries. As such, the interview not only provides for an in-depth understanding of the problems that younger generations face but also lays down the ways of overcoming them.

“Be persistent. Of course, you won´t be always able to do everything you wanted but something similar to that could be quite as satisfying as the thing that you originally wanted to do,“ advises Mrs Milutinović. 

The interview was recorded on May 26, 2021 and moderated by Hasler Iglesias, Youth leader of the Voluntad Popular and Coordinator of the Youth Working Group of the International Coalition for Democratic Renewal from Venezuela. 



  1. We are young leaders from across the world, passionate about freedom and human rights, and believers that democracy is the best tool that the peoples have to advance in their quality of life and human realization.  
  2. We are concerned with the expansion of power and influence of authoritarian regimes and the simultaneous weakening of democratic systems from within.  
  3. As part of the International Coalition for Democratic Renewal, we are committed to changing the intellectual and cultural climate by waging a principled, informed, and impassioned battle of ideas; defending democracy against its critics; working to strengthen mediating institutions and civil associations; fashioning persuasive arguments for liberal democracy that can shape the course of the public discussion (...); going on the offensive against authoritarian opponents of democracy; and demonstrating solidarity with the brave people who are fighting for democratic freedoms (The Prague Appeal, 2017). 
  4. We are guided by the values of Liberty, Equality, Justice, Integrity, Inclusivity, Respect, and Solidarity. 
  5. As young leaders we aim to act as a catalyst, promoting collaborations between youth and top-level decision makers to strengthen democratic values at a national and global level. In order to do so, we commit ourselves to: 
  • Create an evidence base on the status of global democracy and its impact on youth.  
  • Follow and showcase youth initiatives in their effort to shift the governing paradigm from authoritarianism to more democratic models. 
  • Amplify the voice of youth to ensure national and global democratization, thereby protecting their universal human rights.  

Selected signatories: 

  • Hasler Iglesias, Venezuela 
  • Jelena Milutinović, Serbia 
  • Niroshini Nugawela, Sri Lanka 
  • Mariasophia Falcone, Italy 
  • Sascha Hannig, Chile 
  • Andrej Nosov, Serbia 
  • Tania López Lizca, Colombia 
  • Igor Merheim-Eyre, Slovakia 
  • Camila López Badra, Argentina 
  • Abdalaziz Younis Aljarba, Iraq 
  • Nineb Lamassu, Iraq 
  • Victoria Ramírez, Ecuador
  • Alina Aflecailor, Romania
  • Memory Kadau, Zimbabwe

If you identify with our goals and values and would like to become part of the working group, sign the manifesto here
The International Coalition for Democratic Renewal (ICDR) is a global initiative of a group of intellectuals, activists, and politicians, concerned with the expansion of power and influence of authoritarian regimes and the simultaneous weakening of democratic systems from within. The ICDR aims to reaffirm the fundamental principles of democracy, to go on the offensive against the authoritarian opponents of democracy, and to demonstrate solidarity with the brave people who are fighting for freedoms in undemocratic systems around the world.