Background

United Nations and Youth

In 1965, in resolution 2037 (XX), the General Assembly endorsed the Declaration on the Promotion among Youth of the Ideals of Peace, Mutual Respect and Understanding between Peoples.

From 1965 to 1975, both the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council emphasized three basic themes in the field of youth: participation, development and peace. The need for an international policy on youth was emphasized as well.

In 1979, the General Assembly, by resolution 34/151, designated 1985 as International Youth Year: Participation, Development, Peace.

In 1985, by resolution 40/14, the Assembly endorsed the guidelines for further planning and suitable follow-up in the field of youth. The guidelines are significant for their focus on young people as a broad category comprising various subgroups, rather than a single demographic entity. They provide proposals for specific measures to address the needs of subgroups such as young people with disabilities, rural and urban youth and young women. (Source: resolution 50/81)

In December 2009, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 64/134 proclaiming the year commencing 12 August 2010 as the International Year of Youth, calling upon governments, civil society, individuals and communities worldwide to support activities at local and international levels to mark the event. The Year will coincide with the 25th anniversary of the first International Youth Year in 1985.

International Youth Day

International Youth Day is commemorated every year on 12 August, bringing youth issues to the attention of the international community and celebrating the potential of youth as partners in today’s global society.

The idea for International Youth Day was proposed in 1991 by the young people who were gathered in Vienna, Austria, for the first session of the World Youth Forum of the United Nations System. The Forum recommended that an International Youth Day be declared, especially for fund-raising and promotional purposes, to support the United Nations Youth Fund in partnership with youth organizations.

In 1998, a resolution proclaiming 12 August as International Youth Day was adopted by the first session of the the  World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth , which was hosted by the Government of Portugal in cooperation with the United Nations (Lisbon, 8-12 August 1998). That recommendation was subsequently endorsed by the fifty-fourth session of the General Assembly, in its resolution  A/RES/54/120 entitled "Policies and programmes involving youth" (17 December 1999).

The Assembly recommended that public information activities be organized to support the Day as a way to promote better awareness of the World Programme of Action for Youth , adopted by the General Assembly in 1996.

Security Council Resolution 2250 (9 December 2015 ) on Youth, Peace and Security represents an unprecedented acknowledgement of the urgent need to engage young peacebuilders in promoting peace and countering extremism, and clearly positions youth as important partners in the global efforts.

 

International Youth Day 2021 Logo

THIS IS YOUR DAY !

Think about what you can do in you community and how you can effectively spread the message. Make it fun and relatable and use all your channels to spread the message. Think Facebook, Twitter, university newsletters, local newspapers.

  • Educational radio show. Contact popular local/national radio stations to request a slot to have a discussion with distinguished individuals and youth.
  • Organize a (virtual) public meeting or debate to discuss young people’s contributions to global issues.
  • Initiate round table discussions among adults and young people to promote intergenerational understanding.
  • Organize a youth forum to exchange ideas and discuss cultural backgrounds in order to help young people accept others and popularize a culture of non-violence.
  • Organize a (virtual) concert to promote International Youth Day and the launch of the Year. Invite your local musicians and combine it with a panel discussion or invite a politician or policy maker to hold the key note speech.
  • Create an “info point” about youth-related issues in the center of town/village, at high schools, or at university centers.
  • Organize an exhibition. Get permission to use a public space for an arts exhibit, which showcases the challenges of young people today or how young people are contributing to development. Try to involve young people in the domains of culture, arts and music, to raise awareness on youth-related issues.