International Youth Day encourages green skills for youth

The world is embarking on a green transition and its success depends greatly on the level of green skills the population has. Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World is the theme of this year’s International Youth Day (IYD) and here is how you can get involved.


The United Nations (UN) organized IYD in 2000 to celebrate the contribution young people make in employment, social justice, conflict resolution, education and more. According to the UN, green skills are — knowledge, abilities, values and attitudes needed to live in, develop and support a sustainable and resource-efficient society.


“These include technical knowledge and skills that enable the effective use of green technologies and processes in occupational settings, as well as transversal skills that draw on a range of knowledge, values and attitudes to facilitate environmentally sustainable decisions in work and in life,” said a release from the UN.


Over the last two decades of IYD celebrations, several innovative and timely themes have been explored, including mental health, intergenerational solidarity, safe spaces for youth and civic engagement.


The objectives of IYD 2023 are: to raise awareness of green skills and their relevance for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while highlighting the central role of young people in the green transition; to equip stakeholders with the knowledge and information necessary to understand the importance of green skills for young people; to showcase policies and practices that can nurture the development of green skills among young people and; to provide an inclusive platform for stakeholders to exchange views on such topics.


The release says the shift towards an environmentally sustainable and climate-friendly world is critical not only for responding to the global climate crisis but also for achieving the SDGs.


“Due to their interdisciplinary nature, the essence of green skills is sometimes expressed, partly if not wholly, through other associated terms such as ‘skills for the future’ and ‘skills for green jobs.’ While green skills are relevant for people of all ages, they have heightened importance for younger people, who can contribute to the green transition for a longer period of time,” said the UN.


For the official commemoration of IYD 2023, the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) will organize a global webinar in collaboration with the UN Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth and Generation Unlimited.


The webinar will offer critical information and data and will promote discussions and an exchange of ideas on green skills for youth. It will feature perspectives from international organizations, national governments and young experts working in this area.


Visit, for more information on IYD 2023.

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