International youth day 2005

International Youth Day,12 August 2005

“WPAY+10 and Making Commitments Matter”

Message of the Secretary-General >>
Press release >>

The year 2005 is an important year for youth at the United Nations. This year marks the 60th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, which will hold special meetings on youth issues. During the Assembly, Governments will review the achievements in the implementation of the World Programme of Action for Youth (WPAY) since 1995. It will also conduct a 5-year review of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that has targets set for 2015.

Within two months of International Youth Day 2005, in early October, Governments will be getting together to make decisions that affect the lives of young people for years to come. So, now is the time to begin planning and lobbying Governments. Use the Day to make the voices of young people heard!

Email us your plans and ideas on how you will be commemorating International Youth Day in your country:

How you can commemorate the day

Team up! It is a great opportunity to rally support and get key actors involved – Governments, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, businesses, and young people – to focus on what has been done to further the World Programme of Action for Youth.

Organize! Hold forums, public discussions and information campaigns in support of young people focusing on youth issues and how they can be addressed.

Celebrate! Plan and organize performances everywhere to showcase – and celebrate – the fact that youth contribute to the societies in which they live. Convene exchanges and dialogues focusing on the rich and varied skills, interests and aspirations of young people.

Take action! A major focus of the Day is practical action to further encourage the empowerment and participation of youth in the processes and decisions that affect their lives. The media have especially important role to play in support of the observance of the Day to promote public awareness of youth issues.

Email us your plans and ideas on how you will be commemorating International Youth Day in your country:

Two concrete actions

Identify areas for priority action:

  • Choose from the following 15 topics: Education, Employment, Hunger and poverty, Health, Environment, Drug abuse, Juvenile delinquency, Leisure-time activities, Girls and young women, Participation, Globalization, Information and Communication Technologies, HIV/AIDS, Youth and Conflict, and Intergenerational Relations. Then,
  • Use the UN Toolkit: Making Commitments Matter to evaluate your country’s national youth policy regarding any one or more topics. Visit our web site and download a copy of the UN Toolkit, available in English, French, Spanish, Russian and Portuguese.
  • Send a youth delegate to the United Nations: Plan a strategy to select a national youth delegate to represent your country’s young people at this year’s session of the General Assembly at UN Headquarters in New York.

Events at UNHQ to commemorate the Day

  • Interactive discussion at the Dag Hammarskjöld Auditorium (see Agenda)
  • Youth interborough basketball tournament
  • Performances (more information forthcoming)
  • Interactive Discussions
  • Exhibit at United Nations Headquarters
    There will be an exhibit in the Visitors’ Lobby at UNHQ entitled “Chasing the Dream“, that presents the lives of young people and the MDGs from 8 locations around the world. Read the press release >>.

What others are doing to commemorate IYD 2005*

  • Africa:
    Regional youth NGOs propose a series of youth consultations to take place in fifteen countries on each of the priority issues identified in the World Programme of Action for Youth. Country representatives will select an issue that will be addressed at the consultations, which will discuss best practices in reaching and involving young people in Africa while providing participants with tools for translating policies into action at national and community levels. They will also work to find ways to develop closer communications and relations with various stakeholders, as well as international organizations. For more information:
  • Australia:
    In Nowra NSW Australia, a country town 200kms south of Sydney, a youth development group from the community of Shoalhaven will present a series of short skits on youth issues such as homelessness, public space/security guards, drugs and alcohol, reconciliation/racism and employment. The skits will address these issues from a youth perspective and then the audience will debate and discuss them. The audience will include experts on the issues, representatives from the business community, civil society, as well as young people and their parents. The outcome of the discussions will be circulated throughout the community. The aim of the night is to break down barriers of communication between young people and their community and highlight important youth issues in the town. If you would like more information on the evening please contact:
  • Bahrain:
    General Organisation for Youth and Sports will celebrate IYD with a workshop to discuss the pressures face by youth and how they can deal with them. Volunteers will visit malls and distribute questionnaires to young people to find out how much they know about IYD and important youth concerns. Week-long activites include meetings with Government officials to discuss youth issues such as a proposal in parliament to create a national supreme youth council, a first in the region, and a one-day training course on youth rights. The week culminates in a youth workshop conducted by UNDP. For more information, please contact:
  • Canada:
    The youth council in Montreal works to enable youth to actively participate in municipal decision-making, and in the city’s future, by empowering them and letting their voices be heard throughout the public administration. On IYD, the council will organize a press conference discuss youth issues and to inform municipal election candidates about what it expects from them when elections are held later in November, this year. The event will also be used to promote the inclusion of youth perspectives in decision-making within the municipal government. For more information:
  • Cameroon:
    From Feb 7th to 10th, 2006, one hundred and fifty young leaders from across Cameroon will gather in Yaoundé for an NGO network sponsored event. The purpose of the forum is to reflect on, review and elaborate concrete action plans in the implementation of the MDGs and poverty reduction among Cameroonian youth. The forum will focus on six key themes: Youth entrepreneurs/empowerment, environment sustainability, employment creation, information and communication technology for development, education for all, and peace and non-violence. For more information: E-mail:
  • Egypt:
    The United Nations Information Centre in Cairo in cooperation with the Ministries of Youth and Higher Education will hold a two-day workshop entitled “Youth and Attitude of Participation” on 13 -14 August. Keynote speakers at the opening session will be the Ministers of Youth and Higher Education. The chairman of the NGO Union, the Secretary-General of the Arab Youth Development Union, other NGOs, media representatives, students and faculty from national universities will participate in the workshop. The workshop will culminate in a celebration that includes an award ceremony for young people’s achievements in sport, public service and politics. The event will be held at the Ministry of Youth premises and have press and TV coverage. For more information, please contact:
  • Estonia:
    The International Youth Day event in Tallinn is for all those who feel young. The main goal of the event is to offer young people entertainment and interesting free-time activities such as taking part in interesting competitions, finding out about opportunities to study in Estonia and abroad. It also works to bring young people together, help them make new friends, share interests and discuss problems of other young people in their societies. At the International Corner of the event, young people can obtain information about everyday life in other countries, take part in competitions, participate in a quiz and attend a performance by an international youth camp. Information will also be disseminated regarding health, HIV/AIDS and family planning. For more information, please contact
  • Ghana:
    1. United Nations Youth Association of Ghana (UNYAG) will conduct a workshop on young people and the Millennium Development Goals to formulate an MDG youth strategy that will set a national framework for measuring, monitoring and evaluating the performance of Government, aid donors and civil society in sustaining youth participation in MDG initiative and programmes. This event will empower youth to aim for a common aspiration of a sustainable future, through the exchange of ideas, knowledge and experience through a diverse range of activities including discussions, debates, workshops and action projects. For more information please contact:
    2. National youth organizations in collaboration with international partners will organize a 5-day programme to commemorate the Day. Activities will include presentations on the UN Charter, the Report of the Ghana Youth Charter, and “Save The Rural Dweller” – a project plan drafted by youth on achieving the MDGs using participatory youth volunteerism, a forum on HIV/AIDS, a programme on mentorship, an International Youth Day rally, and finally a youth declaration and a cultural night. For more information, please contact
  • Kenya:
    In Kisumu, several events will be held at Kisumu Girls high scool, Kisumu Polytechnic, YMCA and at Maseno University to mark IYD2005. The Minister of Gender Sports, Culture and Social Services as well as other senior Government officials, leading CSO’s in Nyanza, academic institutions and young people will get together to discuss youth problems as well as solutions. On 12 August, a march will be held from the junction of Kondele/Kakamega Rd to Jomo Kenyatta Sports ground, which will culminate in a day-long event that will include meetings and performances. For more information:
  • Lebanon:
    On the occasion of International Youth Day, UN offices in Lebanon in collaboration with the Lebanese Ministry of Youth and Sports are organizing a press conference. The press conference will include the message of the UN Secretary-General and an announcement by the Minister about an initiative that aims at empowering youth in the public life in cooperation with the UN system and the civil society. A representative of Lebanese youth associations will make a statement on the youth’s outlook regarding their current challenges. The corporate sector will sponsor and launch an advocacy campaign to raise awareness on threats facing the young people of today on topics such as HIV/AIDS, drugs and tobacco. For more information:
  • Malawi:
    The National Youth Council of Malawi will mobilise young people to hold discussions on youth participation in the country and review efforts to make the MDGs achievable. Young people are instrumental in issues of social development and need motivation! This discussion will also seek to help young people prepare themselves for leadership roles. This discussion will be held on a community radion station Power 101. For more information, please contact
  • Malaysia:
    An NGO will organize a radio interview with young people to discuss current youth issues in the state of Sarawak. The programme hopes to empower youth of Sarawak to realize their potential as future leaders. For more information please contact:
  • Maldives:
    Two youth leadership camps will be organized to help young people develop their leadership skills. These camps are often a launching pad for youth to find meaningful roles in their community and increase their knowledge and skills. A special youth focused health education programme will also be aired nationally. “Zuvaanun ge adu” (“VOICE of Youth”) a popular leaflet and other publications will also be distributed. For more information: or visit
  • Nepal:
    A youth-led NGO will rally young people, as well as Government officials in a series of events to commemorate IYD2005. Several rallyies and youth conferences will take place around the country along with radio shows, press conferences, discussions and surveys. For more information:
  • Nigeria:
    A local NGO will organize an essay competition among school children in Ibadan, to help evaluate their knowledge on HIV/AIDS as well as educate them on issues surrounding the disease. Information disseminated would add to their awareness of HIV/AIDS and help curb stigmatization. The activity would also increase their knowledge of the work of the United Nations and encourage young people to participate in the issues that affect their lives. For more information, please contact
  • Philippines:
    The United Nations Association of the Philippines and the Youth for United Nations will be organizing the 6th International Youth Day on August 12-13, 2005. The celebration aims to address current issues in youth development in relation to World Programme of Action for Youth, as well as to promote youth participation in nation-building. On IYD the President’s Palace in the Philippines (Malacanang Palace) is opened to young people. The President has also signed a Presidential Proclamation designating 12 August as the Philippines International Youth Day. For more information please contact or visit
  • Poland:
    In Crakow, Poland a conference and exhibition of UN documents entitled “The UN 60th Anniversary” organized by students of Cracow University sponsored by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and UNIC/Warsaw. One-day conference was devoted to the UN reform, World Summit, ILF and MGDs and UN System in Poland and worldwide. Lectures and panel discussions will be hold by following key speakers from foreign dignitaries from consular offices, UN officials and experts on the UN System and international relations. For more information:
  • Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka-United Nations Friendship Organization (SUNFO) will be organizing 25 eye care health camps in tsunami effected peoples camps, as well as organizing a commemoration ceremony at BMICH, Colombo. For more information please contact
  • Tanzania:
    1. In Dar es Salaam, the Ministry of Labour, Youth Development and Sports in collaboration with youth NGOs will mark the day by organizing youth forum to review the World Programme of Action for Youth (WPAY). More than 400 young peolpe from various youth NGOs, students from secondary schools and higher learning institutions are expected to participate. The event will be the culmination of a 4-day NGO-led youth workshop held in Tanga region to review the WPAY.
    2. Zanzibar:
    More than 100 young people will gather to mark the day and discuss WPAY, as well as launch the Zanzibar National Youth Policy at Nkurma Teaching College. Activities from 6th August onwards will include the cleaning of Zanzibar town to promote environmental conservation, planting of mangroves tree on the coast along the Indian Ocean to prevent sea erosion. and the building of a modern house at Michezani Street. The events will culminate in a 2-day long Zanzibar Youth Symposium to review WPAY. The Ministry of Employment, Youth, Children and Women Development will organize the event in collaboration with youth NGOs and support from UNICEF. For more information, please contact:
  • Trinidad and Tobago:
    IYD2005 will start off with a youth rally under the theme “No Excuse — meeting the MDGs by 2015”. Organised by the UN Association of Trinidad and Tobago in partnership with the Trinidad Youth Council, Government ministries and UN agencies, the rally will begin with a street parade highlighting the eight MDGs. Each MDG/section will be adorned in different colours and each youth organization will be matched with the MDG most aligned to its mandate. The youths will display slogans and messages promoting the work of their group in the context of the MDG. The parade will be followed by an information exhibition comprising booths from 50 youth and other organizations, including one outfitted by the UN Information Centre for the Caribbean Area. A mini concert will also be held during which artistes will highlight the MDGs. For more information,
  • Uganda:
    National youth NGOs will organize a consultative meeting on the role of youth in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Local youth groups, academic institutions, media, Government officials, HIV/AIDS agencies and policy makers among others are invited to attend the consultative meeting. The meeting will also be used to develop a strategy to select a national youth delegate to participate in General Assembly sessions at UN Headquarters. For more information please contact
  • Zimbabwe:
    The Zimbabwe Youth Council in collaboration with United Nations Information Center and the Ministry of Youth Development and Employment Creation will be having a Youth Expo on Saturday 13th August. Activities for the full-day event include speeches by the Minister of Youth Development and Employment Creation, the Zimbabwe Youth Council which is a quaisi-governmental organization and the reading of the UN Secretary General’s Statement to mark the day by UNIC. A number of youth groups, artists and entertainers are also scheduled to perform. On Friday 12th August, a press conference will be held to publicize the day. A youth Conference will be held on 20 August in Mutare in eastern Zimbabwe, where youth organization in rural areas are expected to attend. For more information, please contact
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