Every year, International Youth Day has been celebrated on 12th August. It was recommended by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth in Lisbon. This recommendation is sent for approval to the UN General Assembly. On this day, all the governments from various parts of the world and also the citizens come together. This is done so that the problems faced by the youth can be recognized and brought to attention.
The fact that the International Youth Day will be celebrated on 12th August every year was decided by the United Nations in 1999. On this day, there are various awareness campaigns, events, and community concerts. These help in bringing to notice all the socio-economic and socio-political issues faced by the youth of each and every nation.
Each year, a theme is decided by the United Nations that is relevant to all the citizens and communities. This year’s theme is “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health”. On being asked as to why this particular theme has been selected, the United Nations said that the theme highlights the absolutely crucial need for “inclusive support mechanisms that ensure youth continue to amplify efforts collectively and individually to restore the planet and protect life while integrating biodiversity in the transformation of food systems.” Apart from these, there are many other challenges like conservation of biodiversity, climate change, healthcare, and social inclusion which will also be addressed.
The UN Secretary-General is Antonio Guterres. According to him, the youngsters are the only people who can bring about a change and struggle to build for everyone a better future. Antonio has made a video in order to address the people worldwide. He said that the highlight of this year’s International Youth Day will be on the solutions which the young generation has brought about in order to address the challenges to our food system. Mr. Guterres also added that it was not possible for the young people to do it on their own. They would be needing allies to make sure that they are engaged, understood, and included. At the very end of his message, he urged the general public “to guarantee young people a seat at the table as we build a world based on inclusive, fair, and sustainable development for all”.
Last year, the theme for the International Youth Day was ‘Youth Engagement for Global Action’. In the last year’s theme, the main areas highlighted were engagement at the global level, engagement at the national level (formation of policies and laws as well as their implementation), and also the basic and most important, engagement at the community level.
On the website of the United Nations, it stated that this year’s International Youth Day seeks to provide a platform for young people so that they can continue the momentum from ECOSOC Youth Forum as the lead and up to the high-level Food Systems Summit. This can only be possible through youth engagement, education, innovation, and entrepreneurial solutions.