International youth day 2004

International Youth Day,12 August 2004

“Youth in an Intergenerational Society”

Message of the Secretary-General of the United Nations: English | French
Message from the Director-General of UNESCO: English | French
IYD event at UN Headquarters, New York
The Department of Economic and Social Affairs in collaboration with an NGO, Directions for our Youth and the Office of the Mayor, City of New York organized an event to commemorate the observance of the International Youth Day.
Declaration of International Youth Day by the Mayor of NYC
Prize winning logo of the citywide Youth Logo Contest
Photographs >> 1 2 3 4 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
World Youth Festival
More than 1,000 young people marched through the Forum site celebrating International Youth Day. (Photograph © WYF)
Press Release: English | French
UN News
UNICEF Adolescence Newsline

Today’s society is the youngest ever; almost fifty percent of the world’s population is aged 25 years or under. But societies are also ageing. It is estimated that by 2050 the population of people older than 65 will have almost quadrupled, while the proportion of children will have declined by a third. By the middle of this century, the old and the young will represent an equal share of the world’s population.

This demographic transition is most visible in developed countries. Some European countries already deal with a negative population growth. The transition in developing countries will occur at a much faster rate than it has in developed countries. In many cases, the necessary infrastructure and policies to deal with the consequent developments may not be in place.

By choosing the theme Youth in an Intergenerational Society, the United Nations wants to stress the importance of solidarity between generations at all levels – in families, communities and nations. In the future, the interdependence of younger and older people will increase. Youth development is a prerequisite to meeting the growing care demands of older people and a condition for the development of society as a whole. The theme also commemorates the Tenth Anniversary of the International Year of the Family celebrated in 2004.

The United Nations’ Programme on Youth will celebrate International Youth Day 2004 in Barcelona at the World Youth Festival together with an expected 10.000 young participants, many NGOs and several UN agencies and bodies.

Some ideas on intergenerational issues:

When discussing youth in an intergenerational society, many themes are possible. Here are just a few:

1) Youth participation in an ageing society:

  • Youth development is a necessity to meet the growing demands of the older population. Who decides how to share this task?
  • What is the role of voluntary work?

2) An intergenerational perspective on HIV and AIDS:

  • HIV and AIDS is are youth problems. With five new victims per minute, young people are the most effected by the epidemic.
  • Unlike most diseases, HIV and AIDS generally kills not just one, but both parents. Millions of children are orphaned as a result of AIDS. Grandparents are often tasked with the care of their grandchildren.
  • Many youth with HIV and AIDS suffer from stigmatization and discrimination, from outside and within their families.

3) New family forms:

  • Families consisting of four or more generations are not uncommon anymore. What are the implications to the family structures and responsibilities for individuals within the family? Is the welfare of older persons a family or a community concern?
  • To become independent of one’s family, an income and housing are required. Due to high unemployment rates and increasing rents, in some countries, young people live longer with their families.
  • Young people are increasingly living in different family forms than earlier generations – what does this mean in your community?

4) Intergenerational transmission of poverty:

  • In combating poverty, generations within families depend on each other. Without interventions related to education, health and employment, poverty tends to deepen when one gets older. How is poverty transmitted through generations?

Activities from around the world to mark International Youth Day 2004

  • Liberia: In Gbarnga, Bong County, the Bong Youth Association will have a programme marked by songs and speeches. Given the current situation in the country, the peacekeeping mission there, UNMIL, will speak to gathering of about 200 youth on the importance of respecting and protecting basic human rights that would lead to peace and prosperity in their country.
  • Bangladesh: Jubo Academy and Bangladesh Institute of Administration Management (BIAM) Foundation jointly organized a discussion meeting on “Youth In An Intergenerational Society”. More than one hundred and fifty young people participated in the programme, which included 50 trainee school teachers, 70 youth representatives from different youth organizations and 40 development workers.
  • Ghana: The United Nations Youth Association of Ghana, a registered Youth-led non-profit NGO under the auspices of UNESCO, organized a workshop along with six other youth organizations. The theme of the workshop was “Youth in an Intergenerational Society”. The occasion was also used to formally introduce the United Nations Youth Association of Ghana to the general public. For more information:
  • Samoa: In Samoa, the IYD2004 will be celebrated with two events, the screening of a 15-minute documentary on the country’s SBC TV One (Thursday 12 August 9pm) and a youth specific Vaa o Manu Programme. The documentary will focus on the importance of intergenerational relationships in the physical and psychological development of youth at household, village and societal levels. It highlights the positive contribution made by young people in education, employment, sports and recreation as well as explores the challenges faced by young people today including teenage pregnancy, juvenile crime, youth suicide, street vendors and school drop outs. Following the screening there will be a panel discussion where young people will talk with two prominent leaders on the topic “Intergenerational relationships – a core pillar of Samoan life and culture or Le Aiga, – the protector, and nurturer of Samoan youth?” The discussion is intended to create greater awareness of the need for all members of the household, the church and the village to support the development of young people and develop intergenerational solidarity in building a society suitable for all ages.
  • Australia: Global Launch on International Youth Day of the Oxfam International Youth Parliament Communique, Newsletter and Action Partner Action Plans. Delegates of the second Oxfam International Youth Parliament (OIYP), that was held from 4-12 July 2004 in Sydney, will launch their Action Plans to improve their communities together with the Communique document summarizing the commitments made at the Parliament. The event will be a global launch event, with specific events taking place on 6 continents around the world. The OIYP Voice Newsletter will also be unveiled on August 12th and will be published monthly on the OIYP website. The OIYP was , Australia and was attended by over 300 youth leaders from around the world. Each youth leader, or Action Partner, attended the event with an Action Plan to clearly bring positive change to their communities or countries. For more information, please contact or visit
  • Philippines: Youth leaders converge at the 5th Youth International Youth Day Conference in Manila, Philippines!
  • Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka United Nations Friendship Organisation will hold a national ceremony at BMICH main convention center in Colombo. This will include the selection of 10 outstanding youth and presenting them an award. The ceremony will also serve to recognize some youth oriented products and services and incorporate youth cultural and educational activities. A youth service camp will also be organized at the Pallansena Young Offenders Correction Center in Negombo on 14 August 2004 from 9.30 AM- 4.30PM. There are more than 500 youth in this center. We have planned for medical, counseling and a number of cultural, fun and educational activities for them. For more information, please contact: or
  • Cameroun:Un forum sur les relations intergénérationnelles avec entre aures sous theme synergie des générations et lutte contre la pauvreté et, une visite dans un centre du 3è âge. Le forum regroupera près de 50 associations soit environ 50 jeunes et adultes afin de débattre sur le problème de renforcement de la solidarité entre les générations.Des exposés liminaires seront présentés par des experts professeurs d’Universités. The forum is organized by Jeunesse Contemporaine.
  • Toronto, Canada: Interactive Workshop on 12th of August – Participants are asked to bring an example or case study about youth across the globe. Facilitators for the sessions will lead an inspire you to determine the root causes for certain global problems through group discussion. The interactive workshop is organized by Youth Challenge International. Please find all information at To join the event please contact for more details.
  • Mauritania : Commémoration en deux jour sur le thème de cette année « Jeunesse dans la société intergénérationnelle » le 11. & 12 August 2004 .The event is organized by Campagne Anti Pauvrete in collaboration with the Youths Regional Office of Noaudhibou.
  • Nepal : Several activities are planned in Nepal: National Youth Conference on the theme “National Youth Policy”, including handing of the resolutions of the conference to Minister of Education and Sports; Youth Rally; Announcement of Youth Initiative Awards; National Essay competition on “Youth in an Intergenerational Society”. The activities are organized by the Youth Initiative, which is working closely with the Youth Section of the Ministry of Education and Sports . For further information on Youth Initiative please visit
  • Zanzibar : A Youth Forum on 12th August 2004 at Lumumba Secondary school Zanzibar town will explore the challenges, strategies and emerging issues regarding the development of young people in general. The main topics of this forum will be: Youth and Education; Youth and Employment; Youth and HIV/AIDS; Youth and Drug abuse; Youth and Conflict management . There is also planned a visiting and supporting tour to older people at Uwelezo Centre. Both activities are organized by the Ministry of Youth, Employment, Women and Children Development.

To add your event, send an email with the event’s description and, if possible, a link to a website to: