Josip Perkusic, 1st Croatian UN Youth Delegate: Not all Dark for Cro Youth

Katarina Anđelković

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As Poslovni writes, for the first time in 2020, the procedure for selecting youth representatives took place at that largest international organisation. Josip Perkušić, a 24-year-old law student from Split at the time, was chosen for this role from a number of applicants for the previous two years.

It’s worth the effort
These days, it will be exactly two years since his election to the position of the youth delegate of the Republic of Croatia at the UN, and the mandate, as Perkušić says, was quite intense. At that moment, he was in the process of writing his graduation thesis on the topic of the UN, and he was also active as a student representative and the Split-Dalmatia County Youth Council, where he was the president until last year.

It was these references that were sought in the public invitation, and they even led him to attend the 76th session of the General Assembly in New York.

“The event that I especially remember is the opportunity to participate in the session of the General Assembly in the main hall of the United Nations in New York. I remember that constructed feeling that young people are an equally important and equal part of 21st century society and that it is worth fighting for a place at the table, so that the voice of young people is heard and accepted, if it is supported by quality arguments”, Perkušić pointed out.

His work with young people, before the election as a youth delegate, was an opportunity for him to connect with them and understand how the system works and the representation of young people at the regional level, the representation of their rights at county bodies in areas that are close to young people, but also the organization of events with frequent topics with the aim of public speaking and canvassing for the purpose of solving problems.

Not everything is so dark
It is precisely these experiences that enable him to speak today without hesitation about the position of young people in Croatia, and one of the most pressing problems, we learn in a conversation with a youth delegate, is the problem of emigration, which is especially relevant during crises.

Problems that intersect with emigration are also problems of housing and the lack of qualified jobs. However, not everything is so dark, and as Perkušić adds, many young people who went abroad for education tend to return, and this is exactly where our opportunity lies.

“This is precisely our greatest opportunity as a country, to succeed in bringing together all these young, educated people, to provide them with quality conditions for work, so that they can work on strategic and key issues of national interest,” Perkušić said.

However, in his mandate, he mostly advocated for the promotion of the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were adopted by the United Nations, all with the desire that international decision-makers will soon make decisions with strong effects.

“Apart from the SDGs, during my mandate I tried to spread rational optimism in every public or direct performance, because that is exactly what we all need as young individuals, but also for society as a whole, and at the same time influencing young people to develop individually as well as to be as competitive as possible and ready for personal career challenges, but also to help our community with their expertise”, continued the UN youth delegate Josip Perkušić.

From the first day of the youth delegate’s duties, the cooperation with the competent State Office for Demography and Youth and State Secretary Željka Josić, Perkušić points out, was highly commendable.

“They supported me all the time in the realisation of the ideas I had, but also in daily cooperation in order to prepare as well as possible for conferences that were held at the national level or in the distribution of information for events at the international level.

At a time when it is not popular to speak positively about state employees, I would like to single out one more sentence and thank and praise all the employees of the state office with whom I cooperated and at the same time express my desire for future quality cooperation, regardless of what form it takes”, pointed out the youth delegate Perkušić.

Continue being active
Perkušić would like to continue working in the field of youth in the coming years, but not speculating in what position that would be. He believes that it will be easier for his successor or successors in the future, and this is because a formal channel of communication has already been established, as well as a defined program and goals of his work.

“Like every other responsible alumnus of an association, I will always be available for whatever is needed in the work, so that they can continue to represent our country in the United Nations as well as possible”, concluded Josip Perkušić.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Politics section.


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