Youth, in its acerbic definition; is a warehouse of power, innovation and revolution. The 12th of August 2020, when the WHO and the United nation marks the International Youth Day, young people of the world must take charge to change it for the better. After all, this is your world, your planet and you will cherish it longer than any other generation alive today. So better giddy-up to create a society that you want for yourself by actively engaging in local, national and global issues.
A Woke-Youth is not an oxymoron. Riding on the endless supply of knowledge and seamless global connectivity; the young in 2020 are better placed than all their past generations to bring about the changes that humanity has always craved for. The world is looking up to you to deliver a non-polarised, ecologically sustainable world where everyone is treated as equal.
The theme for this year’s International Youth Day is aptly titled as “Youth Engagement for Global Action”. It reflects the urgency of fulfilling the United Nations 2030 agenda. With only a decade left, the UN is worried as the global society has never been further from the utopian world that it recommends. The last of its hopes are now with the young who may be impatient and even savage at times with their exhibition of ideas but understand the importance of climate change, societal equality and technological innovation more than their predecessors.
The seeds for this awareness day were sown back in 1998 during the ‘World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth’ held at Lisbon, Portugal. A year later in 1999, the UN General Assembly recognized the strong and persistent recommendations of the Lisbon conference and declared 12th of August as the World Youth Day. The Assembly endorsed that public activities should be carried out all over the world to spread awareness about the World Programme of Action for Youth while encouraging participation of Youth Organisations from around the globe aided by UN InterAgency Network in Youth Development.
Believe it or not! The World Health Organisation defines ‘Youth’ as the population aged between 15- 24 years of age. Pressing agenda for 2020 is to spread awareness about climate change and world peace through youth movements and virtual conferences. | Image - UN Women/Amanda Voisard
Did you know? The financial impact of COVID-19 on youth is far-reaching. Close to 150 million jobs are lost in 2020 thus far (ILO report-April’20) and over 600 million new jobs must be created in the next decade and a half to meet the employment needs of educated youth.
Still thinking that you don’t need to raise your voice? It becomes all the more important for you to endorse better policies and simultaneously ace your assignments with top grades to stay ahead in the race.
This year the leading welfare organization is vocal about the urgency of including youth at every step of policy-making and within the global socio-economic machinery. The global body is planning events throughout the world with the aid of its globally spread out agency network and welfare partners. Especially in times of Pandemic, Acute and Devastating Climate Change and with an extreme humanitarian crisis such as in Syria being present, active inclusion of young is direly needed to restore fairness in today’s utterly polarised world. The pressing issues where it recommends more participation of youth with bigger authority have been classified as Climate Change, Financial Inclusion, Education, Girl and Young women, Education, Migration among others.
The world calls on the young of the world to unite, engage and rise above their religion, race and nationalities whilst treating Earth as their one common home and pave way for an equal, just and peaceful world. It is for the youth now to devise developmental ways that do not rely on fossil fuels and expansionism and that the planet must flourish in all of its natural glory.
12th of August Belongs to you. Stop at nothing at spreading the good word and the ideas that you feel can change the world; one youth at a time. Here’s what the UN recommends that you should be doing on this marquee day:
Set up a Virtual Public Debate amongst your campus peers – Discuss local environmental and welfare issues and initiate a further course of collective action.
Engage with your country’s Minister of Youth – Make them aware of the urgent issues affecting the youth in your area and suggest viable solutions. You can extract a list of Youth Ministry representatives at www.un.org/youth.
Create a Youth Information Bulletin at your University Centre – Enable people to report about issues such as Environmental Events, Employment Opportunities and other youth-related news.
Contact your Local Radio Station – Get in touch with popular radio stations in your area or country and convince them to have a progressive on-air dialogue with prominent personalities and youth representatives.
Spread the Fire – Stay vocal about the UN agenda. Be creative. Spread your ideas on Twitter, Facebook and other online forums in a fun infused manner. Use your University Newsletter or publications to propagate about Youth Engagement for Global Action. Contact Local Publications to print about it.
Plan a virtual campus roundtable – Engage like-minded peers to brainstorm on how to solve the issues that directly affect the youth. Invite a local politician or a social activist to conclude it with a key-note speech. Connect with UN representative Mr Ines Moued to register your events at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year’s primary motive behind marking International Youth Day is to promote Youth Participation and their Voice at Local, National and Global level and to enable them in submitting their viewpoints concerning political and financial policies.
Don’t be left out.
Be Heard, It’s your basic right.
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