Today is International Youth Day!
The age group which the United Nations defines as youth, 15-25 –year-olds, makes up for one sixth of the world’s population, the largest youth generation the world has ever known. Young people worldwide face high rates of unemployment, vulnerable working conditions, and marginalization from decision-making processes. 85% of the world’s youth live in developing countries. The main purpose of International Youth Day is the promote the rights and abilities of young people around the world.
1985 was the first International Year of Youth. Ten years later, in 1995, the United Nations adopted an official set of policy guidelines, World Programme of Action for Youth, for nations and NGOs to improve the living, working, and social conditions of youth.
In his speech for International Youth Day this year, UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon warns the world of the risk of the “lost generation.” He talks about how the global economic crisis has hit the youth the hardest, and how many young people are discouraged and demotivated by rising inequalities. Ban Ki-moon emphasizes the importance of listening to youth and says the young generation is the generation of change. Accordingly, this year’s theme for International Youth Day is “Building a Better World: Partnering With Youth.”
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