September 7, 2017
“I’m truly happy to address you on International Youth Day,” the Secretary-General said a video message. “As Secretary-General of the United Nations, I am committed to the empowerment and inclusion of every young person around the world,” he added.
“In this spirit, I have appointed an impressive new Youth Envoy,” he said, introducing 26-year-old Jayathma Wickramanayake of Sri Lanka as the youngest and “one of the most important” members of his team.
“Governments must work with young people to successfully achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Empowered young men and women can play a critical role in preventing conflicts and ensuring sustainable peace,” continued Mr. Guterres.
After the Youth Envoy invited everyone to join in mobilizing young people, the Secretary-General said, “Together, we can create a peaceful world for generations to come.” Read more
July 11, 2017
The theme of International Youth Day 2017 (IYD) is “Youth Building Peace”. Since the adoption of Security Council Resolution 2250 in 2015, there is growing recognition that as agents of change, young people are critical actors in conflict prevention and sustaining peace. International Youth Day 2017 is dedicated to celebrating young people’s contributions to conflict prevention and transformation as well as inclusion, social justice, and sustainable peace.
The current generation of youth are the largest in history and young people often comprise the majority in countries marked by armed conflict or unrest, therefore considering the needs and aspirations of youth in matters of peace and security is a demographic imperative.
Another Security Council Resolution, Resolution 2282 (2016) recognizes that the scale and challenges of sustaining peace requires partnerships between stakeholders, including youth organizations. It also reaffirms the important role youth can play in deterring and resolving conflicts, and are key constituents in ensuring the success of both peacekeeping and peace-building efforts. Read more
June 20, 2017
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed 26 year old Jayathma Wickramanayake of Sri Lanka- who played a key role in transforming the youth development sector at the national level- as his next Envoy on Youth. She will succeed Ahmad Alhendawi of Jordan to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his dedicated service in addressing the needs and rights of young people, bringing the work of the United Nations closer to them.
Ms. Wickramanayake is also credited with having established the ‘Hashtag Generation,’ a large civic and political engagement movement of young people. She has also represented and motivated global youth development at the international level since the age of 21, including at the UN, such as in the declaration of World Youth Skills Day.
June 1, 2017
Government officials, youth development practitioners and youth leaders representing 17 Asian countries are sharing experience about evidence-based approaches of their youth development policies and programming.
These discussions are taking place at a technical workshop in Bangkok, Thailand this week, where more than 80 officials from government, civil society, youth representatives and international partners have been discussing ways to increase the use of youth indicators and global data in the national youth policies.
Many participants have recognized young people and evidence-based youth policies as “essential components” of their nations’ development, and called for recognition and investment by Asian leaders. They also agreed to devise country action plans to strengthen their youth policy development and implementation. Read more
February 15, 2017
Drawing attention challenges such as climate change, unemployment and inequality, confronting young people around the world, including in places where peace prevails, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today called for the youth to speak up and share their stories.
“Tell us how the United Nations can see the world from your perspective – and answer your concerns,” said Mr. Guterres in a video message to representatives gathered at UN Headquarters in New York for the sixth annual Youth Forum.
According to estimates, about 74 million young people around the world cannot find a job, many youth are driven from their homes due to conflicts, and, in places where there is peace, they suffer violence and discrimination.
The UN chief, however, emphasized that young people are also on the vanguard of progress – as entrepreneurs, activists and community leaders. Read more