Around the world, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe to the United Nations, we celebrate International Youth Day this year on 12 August. The UN General Assembly began the tradition in 1999 following a recommendation from the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth. In 2012, the theme is: “Building a Better World: Partnering with Youth.” It is focused on developing and engaging in partnerships with and for youth.
Today’s international financial crises and unemployment are affecting our youth most. The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warns against a “lost generation” if critical strategies and methodologies are not enacted including young people in the decision process. “Today's generation of youth – the largest the world has ever known, and the vast majority of whom live in developing countries – has unprecedented potential to advance the well-being of the entire human family,” Mr. Ban said.
“The global economic crisis has hit youth the hardest, and many are understandably discouraged by rising inequalities. A large number have no immediate prospects and are disenfranchised from the political, social and development processes in their countries,” he added. “Without urgent measures, we risk creating a ‘lost generation’ of squandered talent and dreams.”
“On International Youth Day, I call on Governments, the private sector, civil society and academia to open doors for young people to strengthen partnerships with youth-led organizations,” Mr. Ban said. “Youth can determine whether this era moves toward greater peril or more positive change. Let us support the young people of our world so they grow into adults who raise yet more generations of productive and powerful leaders.”
Ban Ki-moon highlighted that youth are a “transformative force; they are creative, resourceful and enthusiastic agents of change, be it in public squares or cyberspace.”
“From their pivotal role in efforts to achieve freedom, democracy and equality, to their global mobilization in support of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), youth have energetically demonstrated yet again their capacity and desire to turn the tide of history and tackle global challenges,” Mr. Ban said. “We need to establish more and stronger mechanisms for youth participation. The time has come to integrate youth voices more meaningfully into decision-making processes at all levels.”
According to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Executive Director, Irina Bokova, young people are the building blocks to a sustainable, peaceful, and prosperous society, but they must be engaged in the process. “Young people are a wellspring of ideas for innovation. They are today’s thinkers, problem-solvers and catalysts for peace. They are often the world’s strongest advocates of justice and dignity.” “But they need good jobs, quality education and access to culture for all. They need to be heard and they need to be included.”
UN News Centre Source
“Marking the Day at UN Headquarters in New York, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs has, over the past few days, been holding a series of six Google+ Hangouts on themes related to the priority areas of the Secretary-General’s Five-year Action Agenda and the development of a UN System Wide Action Plan on Youth. Priority areas include employment; entrepreneurship; education, including on sexual and reproductive health; political inclusion; citizenship; and the protection of rights.
Each Hangout involves fie to six participants – ranging from United Nations experts, representatives of Member States, the private sector, academia and young people – and they are aimed at drawing attention to the issues, as well as exploring how the United Nations and civil society can partner with and for young people.”
Coincidentally, from the private sector on Monday, August 13, I’m happy to report that Film Annex, the company which hosts Diplomatically Incorrect and who we have written about in previous video blogging websites, will be opening its fourth internet classroom in Herat, Afghanistan.
Afghanistan schools have become more than just about educating Afghan youth. They are now community, development, as well as health centers. Schools are becoming entrepreneurship/business incubators particularly as such frequently provide for Afghanistan internet connectivity.
Film Annex president Francesco Rulli has been part of the effort to connect Afghan classrooms to the global internet – (For more information on building schools in Afghanistan, connecting to Internet and encouraging education of girls and boys link to Afghanistan WebTV. His initiative with the Afghan Development Project is a stellar example of this year’s theme for International Youth Day -- “Building a Better World: Partnering with Youth.”
By, SUSAN SACIRBEY
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