The objective of this year’s International Youth Day theme, “Intergenerational solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages”, is to intensify the message that action is needed across all generations to achieve sustainable development goals and provide opportunities for all. The purpose of this day is to draw the attention of the world toward the issues pertaining to the youths of today. The 2022 International Youth Day will also promote awareness of certain barriers to intergenerational solidarity, notably ageism, which impacts young and old while having damaging effects on society as a whole.
A Glance into the History of International Youth Day
In 1965, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) started making efforts toward a positive impact on the youths of the world. It took this opportunity to promote the ideals of peace, mutual respect and understanding between the youths. And empowering them with resources and time to achieve sustained development. Designated by the United Nations (UN), the first International Youth Day was observed in 1999 after the UNGA passed a resolution accepting the recommendations that were made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth in Lisbon.
Significance of International Youth Day
The International Youth Day provides youths of the world a platform to discuss relevant issues and suggests plans for issues like health, education, and employment.
The theme of 2022 International Youth Day focuses on the ways by which young people can be involved at the local, national, and global levels for enhancing national and multilateral institutions and processes. It also brings out lessons on how the representation and engagement of youth in formal institutional politics can be remarkably strengthened.
It’s essential for the youth to come together, be actively involved in activities with diversified needs and varied interests, engage in the decision-making process and freely manifest themselves. But for the youth to evolve themselves, they need civic spaces to engage in governance issues, need public spaces to take part in sports and other leisure activities in the community, need digital spaces to interact virtually with a borderless society and need a planned physical space to make room for the needs of youth.
Transforming, Building and Engaging Youth
The theme of International Youth Day changes each year to cover a broad range of topics and problems that are affecting today’s young people.
The day is devoted to the role played by the youth in ushering change in encountering global issues and accomplishing sustainable development. Also, it serves as an opportunity to augment awareness of challenges and problems being faced by the youth.
The day is marked by organising various activities such as workshops, cultural events, concerts, conferences, seminars and meetings with the active participation of national and local government officials and youth organisations around the world.
The day also highlights the rights of young people to have access to high-quality education, better healthcare facility, employment opportunities, monetary benefits and services and complete involvement in public life.
International Youth Day recognises the contributions made by the young volunteers and activists who are driving positive change around the world as youngsters are the catalysts for peace and prosperity, for their own local communities and for the global society, with an unmatched potential to contribute towards the betterment of our society at large.
Each year, themes for International Youth Day are chosen by United Nations so that members can focus on the individual themes and plan their events with respect to the need of the world’s youth. All over the world, on this day, several activities and events are organised, including parades, concerts, fairs, festivals, exhibitions, and sports. To spread their message, the UN has brought out a framework approach, highlighting the following three approaches: increased commitment and investment in youth, increased youth participation and partnerships and increased intercultural understanding among youth.
Further, on this day, several educational institutions conduct radio shows, public meetings or debates, organise round table discussions among adults and youth to promote intergenerational understanding, arrange a youth forum to exchange ideas, and so forth.