Today, the World Assembly of Youth (WAY) is marking its 72nd Anniversary! For over a year now, the world is going through challenging times, compounded by an unprecedented global health crisis with severe economic and social impacts. Despite the major impacts of COVID-19 being felt by youth worldwide, it revealed that youth are actively participating in social activism, with volunteering and making donations towards the pandemic response.
History has it, founded in 1949, WAY is the international coordinating body of national youth councils and youth organisations. WAY has special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC)) and works together with several agencies of the United Nations including UNEP, UNICEF, UNAIDS, UNESCO, UNICEF, ILO, WHO, UNCTAD, and many more. WAY currently has 140 members from all continents of the world. Having such a large network, it is now, even more, promising for WAY to realise its aim of unlocking youth potential and tackling youth issues with cooperation and support from all of its vigorous members.
There have been 72 years of determined journey and dedication in serving youth and national youth councils, worldwide. We have been working devotedly for the promotion of young people and youth organisations in different programme areas such as: employment, environment, human rights, democracy, population, health, drugs, community development, leadership training, and we will continue to do so together with our members and other stakeholders.
As our way forward approach, we have been coming out with strategies which are and shall be implemented to be in line with our 4th Millennium Plan of Actions that were specially designed to provide constructive progression towards sustainable development of young people and the societies. To amplify youth voices and action, WAY is calling for investments in decent jobs for youth, protection of young people’s human rights, employment and training programmes, social protection and unemployment benefits, and stronger mental health support. We call upon all stakeholder to work together, side-by-side, in providing young people with the opportunities and platforms that would assist in fully developing their potential and also flourishing their characters and inspirations.
As we celebrate our attainment, we wish to acknowledge our members, volunteers, stakeholders, young people, and the global community at large for their endless support. We also would like to thank everyone for believing in WAY and standing with us during these 72 years. Our doors are always opened for everyone, worldwide.
Today, we urge young people to stand up for their rights and hold decision makers accountable to ensure youth human rights are prioritised. Happy Anniversary WAY!!