International Youth Day
International Youth Day

International Youth Day: History, Significance and Theme

International Youth Day 2020: As the world battles COVID-19, the engagement of young people in spreading awareness as well as fighting the pandemic has increased forevermore. Every year, International Youth Day is observed to celebrate and mainstream young people’s voices, actions and initiatives, as well as their meaningful, universal and equitable engagement. The first International Youth Day was observed on 12 August 2000 and has been observed annually ever since. The main purpose of Youth Day is to discuss the participation and views of youth on social, economic to political issues.

This International Youth Day of the United Nations is a dedicated holiday for the youth of the United Nations.  This day is celebrated on different dates by about 18 countries around the world.

  • Youth Day celebrations vary in different countries.  Many countries organize youth conferences on issues such as education and employment.  Some countries discuss other issues.
  • Multiple activities in many countries include concerts.  Along with this various sports competitions and parades are organized, which showcase the achievements of young people.

International Youth Day 2020: History

On 17 December 1999, the General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made the ‘World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth’, and subsequently, the United Nations General Assembly ruled that 12 August would be celebrated as the International Youth Day. The intent behind celebrating this day is to renew the focus of the youth towards various socio-political and economical challenges that are being faced by the world. Increased participation of the young in day to day affairs ranging from politics, environment, science and technology and a host of other issues is the ultimate goal behind celebrating this day.

On the other hand, if we talk about National Youth Day, then National Youth Day is celebrated in India on January 12, 2020, every year on the birthday anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.  The Government of India took the decision in 1984 to celebrate this day.

International Youth Day 2020: Theme

The theme of International Youth Day 2020 has been kept as “Youth Engagement for Global Action” by the United Nations. As the world is fighting against the Coronavirus crisis and no definite solution to tide over this crisis in sight. It is incumbent upon the youth of the world to not only make concerted efforts to take the world out of this crisis but also deal with its aftermath. It aims to highlight ways in which the participation of youngsters at the local, national and global levels is playing a crucial role in enhancing national and multilateral institutions and processes.

International Youth Day 2020: Significance

International Youth Day seeks to raise awareness about the ways in which the engagement of youth at the local, national and international levels is enriching national and multilateral institutions and processes. International Youth Day 2020 seeks to throw light on youth engagement through the following ways-

  • Engagement at the local/community level
  • Engagement at the national level in the formulation of laws, policies, and their implementation and
  • Engagement at the global level.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the UN is celebrating International Youth Day with a podcast-style discussion that will be hosted by the youth for the youth. This podcast will exhibit how youngsters are important partners in political processes and in development.

How to celebrate World Youth Day

Every year the United Nations selects a theme for International Youth Day.  Events are organized around the world based on this theme.  Apart from this, their views and advice are also taken from the youth.

This day is also celebrated as showing the importance of youth and telling the world for future generations.  Many types of programs are organized on this day.  Concerts, workshops, cultural programs, meetings are organized and efforts are made to bring the voice of the youth to the mainstream.  This time due to Corona epidemic, large scale programs are not being organized on this occasion.  However, programs are being done through podcasts.

Youth constitute 18 per cent of the total population of India.  In terms of population, there are about 25 crore youth population in the country.  The population of China is 60 million more than India but the youth in India are about 8 crore more than China.  If we talk about the world, youth constitute 16 per cent of the total population of the world.

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About Utkarsh Upadhyay

Learning something new Everyday !!

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