International Youth Day 2021

International Youth Day 2021 Webinar Official Commemoration


UN SG Video Message IYD 2021

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres’s Video Message 
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The theme of International Youth Day 2021 is, “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health”, with the aim of highlighting that the success of a such a global effort will not be achieved without the meaningful participation of young people.

The theme of International Youth Day 2021 is, “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health”, with the aim of highlighting that the success of such a global effort will not be achieved without the meaningful participation of young people.

It has been acknowledged that there is a need for inclusive support mechanisms that ensure youth continue to amplify efforts collectively and individually to restore the planet and protect life, while integrating biodiversity in the transformation of food systems. With the world’s population expected to increase by 2 billion people in the next 30 years, it has become recognized by numerous stakeholders that simply producing a larger volume of healthier food more sustainably will not ensure human and planetary wellbeing. Other crucial challenges must also be addressed, such as the interlinkages embodied by the 2030 Agenda including poverty reduction; social inclusion; health care; biodiversity conservation; and climate change mitigation.


ECOSOC Youth forum 2021

During the 2021 ECOSOC Youth Forum (EYF), the issues and priorities highlighted by young participants included the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly related to its effect on human health, the environment, and food systems. As part of the official outcome recommendations of the EYF, young participants stressed the importance of working towards more equitable food systems. In addition, they highlighted the need for youth to make informed decisions on food choices through increasing global education on the healthiest and most sustainable options for both individuals and the environment. There were also recommendations on providing adequate capacity development with respect to the resilience of food systems, in particular during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and in its aftermath. Food systems include not only the basic elements of how we get food from farms to the table, but also all of the processes and infrastructure involved in feeding a population, and the negative externalities that can be generated during the process, such as air and ocean pollution as well as desertification. There is also the risk of zoonotic diseases that can result from unsustainable farming practices and the climate crisis. Population health is also key in addressing food systems challenges, especially as nutrition-related chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some forms of cancer are major contributors to the global burden of disease.

The theme of International Youth Day 2021 is, “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health”, with the aim of highlighting that the success of a such a global effort will not be achieved without the meaningful participation of young people.

Through youth education, engagement, innovation and entrepreneurial solutions, this year’s International Youth Day aims to provide a platform for young people to continue the momentum from the EYF in the lead up to the high-level Food Systems Summit. This year, International Youth Day will be virtually convened by DESA in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Major Group for Children and Youth. 

Thank you for celebrating International Youth Day with us! 

Concept Note

Official Commemoration

Bios of Webinar Participants, Moderators, and Video Interludes


IYD Save the Date 2021

Celebrate the International Youth Day with us! On 12 August, join our webinar. The event will explore the role that youth can play to achieve more equitable and sustainable food systems, building on the recommendations of 2021 ECOSOC Youth Forum.

Through a unique dialogue among youth working in this space and stakeholders from different walks of life, the webinar will promote innovation, knowledge exchange, and youth engagement by continuing the momentum to the high-level United Nations Food Systems Summit in September.

The webinar is structured around different roundtables, designed to boost interactions among the participants. The different segments will focus on specific topics that fall under the overarching theme of Transforming Food Systems, including: planetary health, nutrition, health, education, innovation, and Indigenous youth.

Download Save the Date


IYD 2021 Map of Events

Events to celebrate International Youth Day 2021 will take place all around 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.)