Why International Youth Day?

Did you know half of the people on our planet are 30 years old or younger? This is expected to reach 57 per cent by the end of 2030. The objective of International Youth Day 2022, which falls on Aug. 12, is to amplify the message that action is needed across all generations to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and leave no one behind.

“It will also raise awareness on certain barriers to intergenerational solidarity, notably ageism, which impacts young and old persons while having detrimental effects on society as a whole,” says the United Nation. “Ageism is an insidious and often an unaddressed issue in health, human rights and development, and has bearings on both older and younger populations around the world.”

In addition, ageism regularly intersects with other forms of bias (such as racism and sexism) and impacts people in ways that prevent them to reach their full potential and comprehensively contribute to their community.

The Global Report on Ageism launched by the United Nations in March 2021 highlights that despite lack of research, young people continue to report age-related barriers in various spheres of their lives such as employment, political participation, health and justice.

“The report also identifies intergenerational interventions as one of the three key strategies to address ageism. Intergenerational activities can also lead to a greater sense of social connectedness and strengthen intergenerational solidarity,” says the UN.

According to the UN, to achieve SDGs the world needs to leverage the full potential of all generations. Solidarity across generations is key for sustainable development.

International Youth Day is August 12. Photo by Jordan McQueen on Unsplash

The theme of this year’s International Youth Day, Intergenerational solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages, is to amplify the message that action is needed across all generations to achieve the SDGs and leave no one behind.

This theme builds on the momentum from two side events organized by UNDESA and partners earlier this year on 1) ageism in health and employment and 2) ageism in politics on the margins of the 60th Commission for Social Development and the 11th edition of the ECOSOC Youth Forum, respectively.

For more information on how to participate in International Youth Day 2022 visit www.un.org.

Fun facts

– Surveys show that 67 per cent of people believe in a better future, with 15 to 17-year-olds being the most optimistic about this.

– The majority of people agree that the age balance in politics is wrong. More than two-thirds (69 per cent) of people across all age groups agree that more opportunities for younger people to have a say in policy development/change would make political systems better.

– Globally, only 2.6 per cent of parliamentarians are under 30 years old, and less than 1 per cent of these young MPs are women.

– International Youth Day is an awareness day designated by the United Nations. The purpose of the day is to draw attention to a given set of cultural and legal issues surrounding youth. The first IYD was observed on August 12, 2000.

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