On 17 December 1999, in its resolution 54/120, the United Nations General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth (Lisbon, 8-12 August 1998) that 12 August be declared International Youth Day.
Today we celebrate International Youth Day with the theme of:
“Youth Civic Engagement”
This year’s theme centers on the importance of the engagement and participation of young people across the political, social and economic spheres.
The engagement and participation of youth is essential to achieve sustainable human development. Yet often the opportunities for youth to engage politically, economically and socially are low or non-existent.
“In this landmark year, as leaders prepare to adopt a bold new vision for sustainable development, the engagement of youth is more valuable than ever. At this critical moment in history, I call on young people to demand and foster the dramatic progress so urgently needed in our world.” – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
The International Youth Day 2015 campaign aims at promoting civic engagement and participation of youth in politics and public life, so that young people can be empowered and bring a full contribution to society, development and peace.
You can be a part of this effort by helping raise awareness about the importance of youth inclusion in societal matters, and by promoting the participation of youth in civic duties.
As young people, we are called upon to ‘See’ ‘Judge’ & ‘Act’ this International Youth Day in order to build our future.
How you can get involved in today’s celebrations
The UN have given an outline on the official IYD website of things you can do to help promote the day and to participate in the engaging of youth in your community:
- 2015 Event At The United Nations Headquarters
On 12 August 2015, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) with the support of the UN Inter-agency Network on Youth Development is organizing an event to commemorate International Youth Day under the theme Youth Civic Engagement. Find more information about the International Youth Day 2015 event by clicking here.( http://undesadspd.org/Youth/InternationalYouthDay/2015/Event.aspx)
- 2015 Events Around The World
Organize an event to celebrate International Youth Day in your community, school, youth club, or workplace. You can get some ideas from the toolkit here. If you organize an event, let us know about it sending an email to email@example.com, and we’ll map it on our International Youth Day activities map.
- 2015 Featured Event: Celebration In The Philippines
The Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth Mr. Ahmad Alhendawiwill mark the International Youth Day with young people from Asia at large and from the Philippines in particular. On August 12, the Envoy will deliver opening remarks at the 3rd Asian Youth Forum. He will also join the Filipino National Youth Day Celebration with 1,000 young people from the country, UN, government representatives, legislators, civil society partners, and donor organizations.
- International Youth Day Digital Surge
On 12 August between 9am EST and 3pm EST (New York City time) join the International Youth Day Digital Surge! Use #YouthDay and #YouthNow
- Online Photo Exhibit: #YouthNow Driving Change
For the month of August, each day we will share a photo and story of a young person driving change in their community. Check out the album here (http://www.un.org/youthenvoy/2015/07/youthnow-driving-change/)
Join us and share a story of an inspiring young person in your community online using the #YouthDay and #YouthNow.
- Online Photo Campaign
Share your photos of young people engaging and promoting civic engagement for change using the hashtag #YouthDay. Selected photo entries will be chosen for the #YouthDay competition, to be selected by UN4Youth Facebook followers. The winning photo will be showcased at the International Youth Day event on 12 August in UN Headquarters, and online, via @UN4Youth and @undp4youth Social Media platforms. Learn more about the #YouthDay campaign here! (http://undesadspd.org/Youth/InternationalYouthDay/2015/Campaign.aspx)
- Inspiring Quotes On Youth
Check out inspiring quotes from the world leaders and UN Officials celebrating youth. We will be uploading them on twitter at @UNYouthEnvoy. Follow #YouthDay and #YouthNow
Secretary-General’s Message for 2015:
Emerging threats, violent extremism, shifting political conditions, economic turmoil and social transformations are combining to heighten the challenges facing the world’s young people. No one knows better than them the issues at stake or the best way to respond. That is why I am calling on young people to speak out – and I am urging leaders to listen.
As the world changes with unprecedented speed, young people are proving to be invaluable partners who can advance meaningful solutions. Youth movements and student groups are challenging traditional power structures and advocating a new social contract between States and societies. Young leaders have contributed fresh ideas, taken proactive measures, and mobilized through social media as never before.
I applaud the millions of young people who are protesting for rights and participation, addressing staggering levels of youth unemployment, raising their voices against injustice, and advocating global action for people and the planet.
In this landmark year, as leaders prepare to adopt a bold new vision for sustainable development, the engagement of youth is more valuable than ever. At this critical moment in history, I call on young people to demand and foster the dramatic progress so urgently needed in our world.
Volunteerism is an ideal way to improve society – and it is open to virtually everyone. Youth can also join forces with the United Nations as we move from forging the new sustainable development goals to implementing them. That spirit of action is embodied in the theme of this International Day: “Youth and Civic Engagement.”
I stand with the world’s young people in calling for measures to secure human rights, economic progress, environmental stewardship and social inclusion.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the United Nations Charter and the 20th anniversary of the World Programme of Action for Youth. In support of their aims, my Youth Envoy is helping to mobilize this largest generation of young people in history. As he says, youth engagement can help turn the world we want into the world we deserve.
Let us all support young people in creating a future where our planet is protected and all people live in dignity.