U.S. brings young political leaders from 17 countries together in Macedonia
“Young politicians have a shared aspiration for progress and they innately know that gender, religion, ethnicity and geographic boundaries should not stand in their way,” says Jay Footlik, a senior Democratic Party political advisor from the United States.
Footlik and Judy Black, a senior Republican Party political advisor, have spent the week in Macedonia, working with more than 60 young political leaders from across the region and the United States brought together by the United Sates Agency for International Development (USAID). USAID is part of the U.S. Mission to the Republic of Macedonia.
Footlik was Special Assistant to President Clinton in the White House Office of Public Liaison. During the 2004 Presidential campaign, Footlik was a senior advisor for the Kerry/Edwards campaign. Black is the former Chairman of the American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL) and served in the White House as Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan.
“The involvement of a new generation of politicians is critical to the future of democracy in this region,” said Black. “Young politicians around the world are not held back by boundaries.”
The purpose of this groundbreaking seminar was to support youth-driven efforts to strengthen democratic institutions and promote democratic values in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The men and women gathered averaged 26 years of age and represented 16 countries across the region and the United States. Six elected officials were among those participating.
This innovative initiative drew strong support from political leaders in both Macedonia and the U.S.. Ljupco Jordanovski, President of the Macedonian Parliament, welcomed participants at the opening dinner in Skopje. In Ohrid, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Transportation Maria Cino delivered the inaugural keynote address on modern challenges to political leadership and ethics.
Finally, to commemorate the event, The Liberty Pavilion at South Eastern European University in Tetovo was erected as a symbol of democracy to mark the gathering of young political leaders from countries across Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Its open structure—like Democracy itself—invites the participation of all and is envisioned as a forum for the free exchange of ideas among youth in the region.
Closing ceremony of the Young Political Leaders Seminar.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
South Eastern European University - Tetovo
The ceremony will begin at 14.00 and will feature:
JUDY BLACK, Republican Senior Political Analyst
JAY FOOTLIK, Democratic Senior Political Analyst
BROCK D. BIERMAN, Chief of Staff, USAID Bureau for Europe & Eurasia
Dedication of the “LIBERTY PAVILION”