YOUth and Youth-focused Organizations are encouraged to initiate and participate in activities in celebration of the Year and its theme.
The Year, from 12 August 2010 to 11 August 2011, begins with launch events at UN Headquarters in New York and around the world showcasing youth contributions to development and promoting the implementation of the World Programme of Action for Youth.
The UN Conference on Youth will be a highlight of the International Year of Youth.
Many other events are scheduled throughout the world to celebrate the
Year. Please visit the official Calendar of Events for more information at:
YEAR OF YOUTH
The International Year of Youth is being celebrated
from 12 August 2010 to 11 August 2011 and everyone
has a role to play!
Why an international year of youth?
In December 2009, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 64/134 proclaiming the Year, signifying the importance the international community places on integrating youth-related issues into global, regional, and national development agendas. Under the theme Dialogue and Mutual Understanding, the Year aims to promote the ideals of peace, respect for human rights and solidarity across generations, cultures, religions and civilizations.
The world is facing many, often overlapping, crises including financial, security, environmental and other socio-economic challenges hindering the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals. Investing in and partnering with youth is key to addressing these challenges in a sustainable manner.
The UN defines youth as those between the ages of 15 to 24. Today, youth represent 18% of the global population or 1.2 billion people. 87% of youth live in developing countries facing challenges brought about by limited access to resources, healthcare, education, training, employment and economic opportunities.
Member States of the United Nations recognize that young people in all countries are a major human resource for development, positive social change and
technological innovation. Their ideals, energy and vision are essential for the continuing development of their societies.
Young people are not merely passive beneficiaries but effective agents of change. Dedicated, enthusiastic and creative, youth have been contributing to development
by addressing society’s most challenging issues.
Young people’s efforts have contributed to combating poverty and hunger in their communities, stemming the HIV/AIDS pandemic through peer education and championing the protection of the environment.
Youth have also been pioneers in encouraging dialogue, understanding and respect among people from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds.
Youth often lead by example, such as by practicing green and healthy lifestyles, promoting innovative uses of new technologies including utilizing mobile devices and
online social networks and by bridging gaps to foster the development of inclusive societies. Their contributions to community, national, regional and global development must be recognized and encouraged.
Member States of the United Nations proclaimed the International Year bearing this in mind and with the knowledge that how these challenges are addressed and how youth’s potential is harnessed directly impacts current social and economic conditions.
YOUTH AND THE UNITED NATIONS
In 1985, the UN celebrated the first International Year of Youth. On its 10th
anniversary, the General Assembly adopted the World Programme of Action for Youth, setting a policy framework and guidelines for national
action and international support to improve the situation of young people.
Today, the World Programme of Action for Youth plays a prominent
role in youth development. It focuses on measures to strengthen national capacities in the field of youth and to increase the quality and quantity of opportunities available to young people for full, effective and constructive participation in society.
15 Priority Areas of the world programme of action for youth
-Hunger and poverty
-Girls and young women
-Information and communication technologies
-Youth and conflict
The United Nations Programme on Youth serves as the focal point on youth at the UN.
It undertakes a range of activities to promote youth development including supporting intergovernmental policy-making,conducting analytical research and increasing the effectiveness of the UN’s work in youth development by strengthening collaboration and exchange among UN entities through the Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development.
WHAT'S YOUR ROLE IN CElEBRATING THE YEAR?
Everyone is invited to promote the ideals of peace, freedom, progress and solidarity towards the promotion of youth development and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
Member States of the United Nations are encouraged to hold national events in celebration of the Year and to raise public awareness about the important contributions of youth to their country’s development.
Member States are also encouraged to review their national youth development policies and programmes to fully implement the World Programme of Action for Youth.