The International Youth Day is commemorated every year on August 12, it brings youth issues to the attention of the international community and celebrates the potential of youth as partners in today’s global society. This day also highlights the success of any global effort that have been achieved with the meaningful participation of young people. On daily basis, young people and youth organisations are addressing issues and challenges that youth are facing on the basis of economic status, ethnic group, gender, and other characteristics.
The theme of International Youth Day 2021 is “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health” and it highlights the importance of working towards more equitable food systems. We are well aware that our food systems are unsustainable and it is through the knowledge and skills that young people possess that solutions shall derive. It is also a celebration on the role of young women and men as essential partners in change for a sustainable future.
With the world’s population expected to increase by 2 billion people in the next 30 years, it has become recognised by numerous stakeholders that simply producing a larger volume of healthier food more sustainably will not ensure human and planetary wellbeing. Other crucial challenges must also be addressed, such as: the interlinkages embodied by the 2030 Agenda including poverty reduction, social inclusion, health care, biodiversity conservation, and climate change mitigation.
We, at the World Assembly of Youth (WAY), believe that direct and meaningful youth engagement in the decision making processes is crucial for the drafting, monitoring, and evaluation of all policies related to or made for youth and / or youth related issues. We shall continue to encourage the full participation of young men and women in the development process of their countries. Hence, for over 70 years we have consistently promoted youth leadership and participation at all levels, especially in our platforms.
Today, around the world, a number of initiatives are being developed by young people to leverage their efforts in order to generate and deliver support to and for one another. We also highlight the importance of education, as it aids young people to prepare themselves for challenges that they are going to face ahead. Additionally, on the occasion of the International Youth Day, we step up and call upon young people and our members to be informed, inclusive, and accessible, to and for local, national, regional, and global actions.
Join us in celebrating youth, today and always, as they continue to improve our world through their voices, actions, and initiatives!