International Youth Day

International Youth Day

“Youth is wasted on the young,” or so it is said.

Seriously though, young people in Canada and abroad face a future that is filled with challenges and opportunities. The United Nations’ (UN) International Youth Day is celebrated on August 12 each year to recognize efforts of the world’s youth in enhancing global society. It also aims to promote ways to engage them in becoming more actively involved in making positive contributions to their communities.

The UN defines the worlds’ youth as the age group between 15 and 24 years old, making up one-sixth of the human population. Many of these young men and women live in developing countries and their numbers are expected to rise steeply. The idea for International Youth Day was proposed in 1991 by young people who were gathered in Vienna, Austria, for the first session of the UN’s World Youth Forum. The forum recommended that an International Youth Day be declared, especially for fundraising and promotional purposes, to support the United Nations Youth Fund in partnership with youth organizations.

In 1998 a resolution proclaiming August 12 as International Youth Day was adopted during the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth. That recommendation was later endorsed by the UN General Assembly in 1999. International Youth Day was first observed in 2000. One of the year’s highlights was when eight Latin American and Caribbean youth and youth-related organizations received United Nations World Youth Awards in Panama City, Panama.

The theme of the 2016 International Youth Day is “The Road to 2030: Eradicating Poverty and Achieving Sustainable Production and Consumption.”

This year’s day is about achieving the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. It focuses on the leading role of young people in ensuring poverty eradication and achieving sustainable development through sustainable production and consumption.
Celebrations at the United Nations headquarters and around the world will recognize the importance of youth efforts, collaboration and participation in the implementation of the 2030 sustainable development agenda. Events to celebrate International Youth Day 2016 will take place all over the world.

Happy International Youth Day!

By: Mark Klein

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