Sunday, August 12, 2012

August 12, 2012: International Youth Day

2012 International Youth Day Theme is "Building a Better World: Partnering with Youth" - a global call to action to develop and engage in partnerships with and for youth. 

Young people today face pressing global challenges such as high levels of unemployment, vulnerable working conditions and marginalization from decision making processes. Partnerships - with the United Nations, governments, the private sector, civil society, academia and philanthropists - can help increase opportunities for success by leveraging comparative advantages, resources and shared interests.

"UN's global report on youth spotlights
rising concerns over lack of job prospects"

Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General's Message for 2012

"Today’s generation of youth — the largest the world has ever known, and the vast majority of whom live in developing countries — has unprecedented potential to advance the well-being of the entire human family. Yet too many young people, including those who are highly educated, suffer from low-wage, dead-end work and record levels of unemployment. The global economic crisis has hit youth the hardest, and many are understandably discouraged by rising inequalities. A large number have no immediate prospects and are disenfranchised from the political, social and development processes in their countries. Without urgent measures, we risk creating a “lost generation” of squandered talent and dreams.

Working with and for young people is one of my top priorities. Youth are a transformative force; they are creative, resourceful and enthusiastic agents of change, be it in public squares or cyberspace. From their pivotal role in efforts to achieve freedom, democracy and equality, to their global mobilization in support of the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, youth have energetically demonstrated yet again their capacity and desire to turn the tide of history and tackle global challenges.

Young men and women are not passive beneficiaries, but equal and effective partners. Their aspirations extend far beyond jobs; youth also want a seat at the table — a real voice in shaping the policies that shape their lives. We need to listen to and engage with young people. We need to establish more and stronger mechanisms for youth participation. The time has come to integrate youth voices more meaningfully into decision-making processes at all levels.

Around the world, there is growing recognition of the need to strengthen policies and investments involving young people. On International Youth Day, I call on Governments, the private sector, civil society and academia to open doors for young people and strengthen partnerships with youth-led organizations. Youth can determine whether this era moves toward greater peril or more positive change. Let us support the young people of our world so they grow into adults who raise yet more generations of productive and powerful leaders."

The girl who silenced the
world for 5 minutes. 

The video has circled the globe numerous times, but it is
worth repeating on International Youth Day.

Together We Can Change the World

In 1995 the UN General Assemply adopted ten priority areas for the world's youth:
Hunger and poverty
Drug abuse
Juvenile delinquency
Leisure-time activities
Girls and young women

In 2007 five additional issues were adopted by the General Assembly:
Information and Communication Technologies
Youth and Conflict
Intergenerational Relations

International Youth Day event is a celebration of young peoples’ energy, imagination and initiatives and recognizes their crucial contributions to enhancing peace and development. The event is an opportunity for the international community and the UN system to demonstrate their commitment to young people.

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