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Since 1967, International Literacy Day celebrations have taken place annually around the world to remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights, and to advance the literacy agenda towards a more literate and sustainable society.

International Literacy Day, celebrated annually on the 8th of September. It is an opportunity for Governments, civil society and stakeholders to highlight improvements in the world literacy rates, and reflect on the worlds remaining literacy challenges. The issue of literacy is a key component of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals and the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The UN's Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by world leaders in September 2015, promotes, as part of its agenda, universal access to quality education and learning opportunities throughout people’s lives. Sustainable Development Goal 4 has as one of its targets ensuring all young people achieve literacy and numeracy and those adults who lack these skills are given the opportunity to acquire them.

This year’s theme is ‘Literacy and skills development.’ Despite progress made, literacy challenges persist, and at the same time the demands for skills required for work, evolve rapidly. This year's theme explores integrated approaches that simultaneously support the development of literacy and skills, to ultimately improve people’s lives and work and contribute to equitable and sustainable societies. The day focuses on skills and competencies required for employment, careers, and livelihoods, particularly technical and vocational skills, along with transferable skills and digital skills.

We, at the World Assembly of Youth (WAY), we believe that literacy is a passage to an untouchable facet of the world. Literacy is, in fact, not only a basic human right; it is also a fundamental building block for learning as well as an individual empowerment tool. It is the catalyst for social and global progress as we continue to grow.

On this day of International Literacy Day, we, at WAY, would like reiterate our encouragement to all young people to actively volunteer in community services or other related programmes which have a purpose in educating illiterate youth and children around them. So, let us take an oath in working together for tomorrow’s world literate society!

Happy International Literacy Day!