9.1 General context
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Republic of North Macedonia, as a country in development, has focus on EU Integrations and become NATO member in 2020, and Republic of North Macedonia is not focused on global issues from the prism of young people, and does not take concrete actions initiated by the national authorities regarding young people and global issues.
Green volunteering, production and consumptions as subject are still not well promoted among young people, and when they are promoted the have wider audience as target groups, not just young people.
Youth from North Macedonia participate and contribute on global issues mostly on international events with their representatives, and rarely on local or national level events that are implemented by national or local authorities.
In general, the activities regarding global issues are initiated and implemented by Civil Society Organizations that are targeting youth. National authorities are providing direct political support towards the initiatives in most of the times, however rarely with financial support.
Young people in the Republic of North Macedonia are encountering challenges among other fields of interests - also on global issues. The research “Youth Trends in Republic of Macedonia” (“Младински Трендови во Република Македонија”), (published in 2014 for a second time after 2010) is showing young people’s interests and attitudes towards social and political processes in Republic of North Macedonia.
According to the research on youth trends from 2014, regarding global issues, we can mention that young people are most concerned for their employability status (41.5%), poverty (40.7%), incurable diseases (35.9%) and war and terrorist attacks (31.1%). Regarding discussing social and political issues, 20% of young people in the Republic of North Macedonia are often discussing them with their friends and peers, 61.5% of the young people have never discussed social and political issues in public, and 49.4% are discussing them with their parents. Regarding active participation in Human Rights organization, only 11.7% of the young people have been active in the field of human rights and most of them are in the Capital City of Skopje, which shows the low level of participation regarding Human Rights issues in the Republic of North Macedonia.
Macedonian youth is also interested in volunteering abroad. There are 67 EVS accredited organizations in the Republic of North Macedonia from which 59 are sending organizations. Beside the EVS programme, there are other programmes offered by different organizations. For example, student organization AIESEC Macedonia or Youth Center KREAKTIV is offering professional and volunteering internships abroad.
In October 2018, CSO Go Green published the research report “Needs assessment of youth in high schools” (Анализа на потребите на младите во средните училишта). According to the research, most of the respondents have developed environmental awareness and would like to select and recycle the trash in their school, but a very small number of high schools in the country have this opportunity.
In October 2019, the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning and UNDP conducted an online survey on public opinion about climate change. This survey was not targeting only youth but the general public. But having in mind that it was distributed online, most of the respondents were young people aged 25-39. According to the respondents, one of the main national issues are lack of clean water and climate change. The youngest respondents (up to 25 years old) consider that the most serious threat to society today are climate changes. Most of the young respondents (around 26%) would like to undertake some activities, but they don’t know how, and around 23% believe that the government and industries should take appropriate measures against climate change.