August 12th is marked as International Youth Day. The Day is commemorated for giving voice to the initiative and activities designed for young people worldwide. Every year, the United Nations hosts a virtual celebration of the Day. The program’s purpose is to encourage young people worldwide to organise activities to raise awareness about the plight of young people in their own countries.
Various political, cultural, and economic campaigns are generally held every year around the world on this Day to raise public awareness. However, because of the global pandemic crisis, International Youth Day 2021 was not observed physically in most places; however, multiple webinars commemorate the Day.
International Youth Day
The idea for International Youth Day was proposed in 1991 by the young people who had assembled in Vienna, Austria, for the first session of the World Youth Forum of the United Nations System.
The World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth then adopted the resolution declaring August 12th as International Youth Day at its first session in 1998. The Portuguese government organised the conference in collaboration with the United Nations.
“Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health” has been designated as the Day’s theme this year. The purpose of selecting this theme is to emphasise the importance of young people’s attempts to develop food systems. The theme also aims to raise awareness of the importance of involving both young and older adults in efforts and initiatives to save the world together.
The theme was chosen after these issues were addressed at the ECOSOC Youth Forum (EYF) 2021. According to the United Nations’ website, young participants in EYF 2021 focused on topics related to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on human health, the environment, and food systems. The young participants had also emphasised the necessity of working towards an equitable food system.
The Day focuses on building a better world for future generations with the help of the world’s most lively population of youth. The youth have the capacity and innovation to build something incredible even in the most difficult times, such as now, when the world is severely affected by the pandemic and the detrimental effects of climate change.