“The foundation of every state is the education of its youth”
Young people are not only the leaders of tomorrow; they are the leaders of today. A nation’s most valuable resource is its young people. Young people represent our national future and embody national prosperity. Youth require equal access to educational achievement that befits their innate ability no matter if they are from urban, rural or remote communities, regardless of their low socioeconomic, indigenous, homeless backgrounds, in situation of being a refugee or a young parent, in the juvenile justice system or in the care of the state.
International Youth Day (IYD) is the invention of the United Nations, and was first celebrated on 12th August 2000, after the UN General Assembly passed a resolution accepting the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth in Lisbon in 1998.It is celebrated annually on the 12th of August focusing on the rights of young people to have full access to education, adequate healthcare, employment opportunities, financial services and full participation in public life as well as their contributions.
The theme of the 2016 International Youth Day is ‘The Road to 2030: Eradicating Poverty and Achieving Sustainable Consumption and Production’. This year’s International Youth Day emphasises on achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly on the leading role of young people in ensuring poverty eradication and achieving sustainable development through sustainable consumption and production.
Sustainable consumption involves the use of products and services that meet the basic needs of communities while upholding the needs of future generations. The growth and promotion of individual choices and actions that increase the eco-efficiency of consumption and minimise waste and pollution are critical for achieving equitable socioeconomic development. Yet, many young men and women face barriers to certain green consumption choices. Those barriers to sustainable consumption choices include the high prices of goods and services and a lack of information about the available options.
Increasing resource efficiency and moving toward sustainable production can contribute significantly in meeting the basic needs of all people, including youth, by making food, water and energy more accessible and affordable to those living in poverty. Investing in sustainable production also creates new markets and employment opportunities which help to achieve social inclusion in the societies.
World Assembly of Youth (WAY) works for the promotion of youth issues and youth organisations in programme areas such as: youth employment, environment, human rights, democracy, population, health, drugs, community development and leadership training. As an international-scaled organisation whose aims are not only at its contribution of actively resolving youth-related matters but also its coordination of national youth councils, WAY has been known for its concern towards welfare of youth, worldwide.
Acknowledging the International Youth Day, we encourage everyone, youth inclusive, to be proactive in working together in order to make effective changes in improving the wellbeing of young people. Let us support the youth initiatives by giving righteous voices that they deserve as it is not enough to hope only for a better tomorrow, instead, we must progressively act now. Change is in progress and the drive to its success is in the hands of young people.
Happy International Youth Day!