International Youth Day 2020

International Youth Day 2020

The theme of International Youth Day 2020, “Youth Engagement for Global Action” seeks to highlight the ways in which the engagement of young people at the local, national and global levels is enriching national and multilateral institutions and processes, as well as draw lessons on how their representation and engagement in formal institutional politics can be significantly enhanced.

As the United Nations turns 75, and with only 10 years remaining to make the 2030 Agenda a reality for all, trust in public institutions is eroding. At the international level, against the backdrop of an increasingly polarized world, the international system of governance is currently undergoing a crisis of legitimacy and relevance. In particular, this crisis is rooted in the need to strengthen the capacity of the international system to act in concert and implement solutions to pressing challenges and threats (examples include some of the worst contemporary conflicts and humanitarian emergencies, such as Syria and Myanmar, as well as global challenges, such as the COVID-19 outbreak and climate change).

World Youth Report on Youth and SDGs

Enabling the engagement of youth in formal political mechanisms does increase the fairness of political processes by reducing democratic deficits, contributes to better and more sustainable policies, and also has symbolic importance that can further contribute to restore trust in public institutions, especially among youth. Moreover, the vast majority of challenges humanity currently faces, such as the COVID-19 outbreak and climate change require concerted global action and the meaningful engagement and participation of young people to be addressed effectively.

The aim of IYD 2020 is to shed light on the need to enable the engagement of youth by making local, national and global institutions more inclusive for the purpose of strengthening their capacity (and relevance) to achieve global action. 

This year’s IYD seeks to put the spotlight on youth engagement through the following three interconnected streams:

1. Engagement at the local/community level;
2. Engagement at the national level (formulation of laws, policies, and their implementation); and,
3. Engagement at the global level.

Concept Note

UN Secretary-General António Guterres Video Message on the International Youth Day, 12 August 2020
English | Français | Español | Русский | عربي |

IYD 2020 - Podcast

IYD 2020 Podcast

For this year’s theme, Youth Engagement for Global Action, we will be discussing how the engagement of youth is enriching local, national, and global institutions and political processes. Accompanied by our host Lucy Fagan, two guests join the conversation in each segment. The guests represent the different scales of youth action and political engagement, covering local (sub-national/community level), national and global scales.

Hosted by youth for youth, this podcast will showcase how young people are crucial partners in political processes and in development. It also seeks to draw lessons with regard to how youth representation and participation in politics can be enhanced, especially for the purpose of responding to global challenges.

Podcast Segment Descriptions

Podcast Participant Bios

Episode 1: Engagement at the Local Level


Javan the Poet (Kenya)
Lynrose Jane Genon (Philippines)

Host: Lucy Fagan (UN Major Group for Children and Youth)

‘Imagine’ Music Collaboration by Create 2030

Executive Producer: Create2030
Curator/Producer: Lisa Russell
Music Producers: Alien Child
Songwriters/Performers: Alien Child, Sean Slaughter, Ramya Ramana, Zuhura Seng’enge (The African Lioness), Javan the Poet
Beat: Kaila Mullady
For more about the artists and how to download the song, go to

Episode 2: Engagement at the National Level


Nikoli Edwards (Trinidad and Tobago)
Joe English (USA)

Host: Lucy Fagan (UN Major Group for Children and Youth)

Episode 3: Engagement at the Global Level


Hajar Yagkoubi (The Netherlands)
Eglė Janušonytė (Lithuania)

Host: Lucy Fagan (UN Major Group for Children and Youth)

IYD 2020

Spread the Word and Connect with Us!

You can help commemorate IYD with the simple click of a button! Join our online campaign running from late July until the 12th August 2020. Use the #YouthDay, #Youth4GlobalAction, and #SDG16 to help spread the word and strike up a conversation surrounding youth engagement for global action. Join our event page on Facebook to learn more about the campaign and how you can get involved.

Download our Events Toolkit

World Map of IYD Events 2020

World Map of IYD Events 2020

Events to celebrate International Youth Day 2020 will take place all over the world.

Be part of the celebrations by organizing your own event or activity! You can organize an event to celebrate International Youth Day in your community, school, youth club, or workplace.

Let us know about your event by going to the link HERE to input the details in the form and we’ll map it on the IYD World Map of Events, below.

(The United Nations does not assume any responsibility for the activities of the events shown in the map below nor does inclusion on the map in anyway imply endorsement of approval by the United Nations.)