International Youth Day – 12th August 2012

International Youth Day – 12th August 2012

“The international community must continue to work together to expand the horizons of opportunity for these young women and men and answer their legitimate demands for dignity, development and decent work. Failing to invest in our youth is a false economy. Investments in young people will pay great dividends in a better future for all.”

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Message for International Youth Day 2011

Each year, International Youth Day (IYD) is assigned a theme; a conceptual slogan that communicates the scope, direction, and objectives of the year’s youth initiatives and also provides a unifying banner from under which individuals can draw the inspiration to take action. This year’s International Youth Day will represent the culmination of the International Year of Youth (IYY) – designated by the United Nations to comprise the 12 month period between IYD 2010 and IYD 2011 – and the 25th Anniversary of the first International Year of Youth.

As such, “Change Our World” has been chosen as the theme for IYD 2011 as it not only expresses the level of impact that young people strive to achieve, but also reflects the notion of a global community that is a core principle of the United Nations.

“Change Our World” is meant to be a call to inspire youth initiatives at all levels with the idea that efforts at the local level can have a global impact. Youth are well attuned to modern forms of communication that have the capacity to connect people from all over the world with ease, and at an unprecedented speed. UNPY encourages the use of social media & networking tools as platforms for raising awareness and promoting activities, empowering youth, and enabling them to quite literally change our world.

It should be stressed that “Change Our World” is a call for continual, long lasting progress in areas of societal development that concern youth. Therefore, while the support of the private sector, governments, and civil society organisations is important, what’s most necessary is that young people be actively involved and that they claim ownership of this positive effort.

LINK: International Year of Youth

IYD forms part of the UN’s wider World Programme of Action for Youth (WPAY), an initiative that aims to promote the wellbeing and livelihood of young people.

Its 15 priority areas include: education, employment, poverty and hunger, the environment, drug abuse, juvenile delinquency, leisure-time activities, health, girls and young women, HIV/AIDS, information and communications technology, inter-generational issues, armed conflict, the mixed impact of globalisation, and the full and effective participation of youth in society and in decision-making.

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