International Youth Day 2020: Current Theme, History, Significance and Celebration
International Youth Day 2020: The day recognises and celebrates the contributions of youth around the world. Amid COVID-19 pandemic, the day is celebrated virtually and hosted by Miss Universe 2019, Zozibini Tunzi, or "Zozi". The virtual event features musical performances by Maia Reficco Viqyeria, Manizha, Malkia the band, 25 May Movement, and Maria Brodskaya. It is joined by thousands of youth voices around the world in saying "Enough! I am Generation Equality. My vision now."
No doubt the day focuses on the efforts of the youth in the development of the country. International Youth Day is celebrated to recognise the efforts of the world's youth in enhancing global society and to draw the attention regarding cultural and legal surrounding youngsters. Also, the day promotes ways to engage youngsters in making positive contributions to their communities.
International Youth Day 2020: Theme
The theme of International Youth Day 2020 is "Youth Engagement for Global Action". According to the UN, the theme focuses on the ways in which the engagement of young people at the local, national, and global levels is enriching national and multilateral institutions and processes. It also draws lessons on how their representation and engagement in formal institutional politics can be significantly enhanced.
The theme of International Youth Day 2019 was "Transforming Education". The theme highlights the efforts to make education more relevant, equitable, and inclusive for all youth, including efforts by youth themselves.
The theme of International Youth Day 2018 was "Safe Spaces for Youth" and in 2017 was "Youth Building Peace".
There is a necessity for the Youth to come together, engage in activities with diverse needs and interests, participate in the decision-making process, and freely express themselves. But for this youth need safe spaces like civic spaces which enable youth to engage in governance issues; public space to participate in sports and other leisure activities in the community; digital spaces to interact virtually across borders with everyone; well planned physical spaces that can help to accommodate the needs of youth especially suffering from any kind of violence etc.
International Youth Day: History
From 1965 to 1975 an International policy on youth was emphasised and both the General Assembly and the Economic & Social Council focus on three basic themes that is participation, development, and peace in the field of youth.
Do you know that earlier International Youth Day is celebrated as International Youth Year and the General Assembly, by resolution 34/151, designated 1985 as International Youth Year: Participation, Development, Peace? Ten years later that is in 1995 some guidelines and rules were established to help people all over the world work together to improve the lives of young people. Some areas were designated on priority for the youth those are education, employment, poverty, health, environment, delinquency, drug abuse, HIV and AIDS, girls and young women, participation, globalisation, intergenerational relations, youth conflict, communication technologies, and leisure time activities.
A resolution proclaiming 12 August as International Youth Day was adopted by the first session of the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth in 1998. It was hosted by the Government of Portugal in cooperation with the United Nations (Lisbon, 8-12 August 1998).
The United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 64/134 in December 2009 proclaiming the year commencing 12 August 2010 as the International Year of Youth. To mark the event, the day calls upon governments, civil society, individuals, and communities worldwide to support activities at local and international levels.
The day accomplishes the aims to improve the lives of the youth or young people of the world and for this, they have told government agencies, charities, and other organisations from all over the world.
Security Council Resolution 2250 (9 December 2015) on Youth, Peace, and Security represents an unprecedented acknowledgment 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.
How is International Youth Day celebrated?
United Nations chooses themes every year for International Youth Day so that participants can focus on the respective themes and planned their events accordingly where there is a need among the world's youth. On this day all over the world, several activities and events occur. Usually, these events are parades, concerts, fairs, festivals, exhibitions, and sports etc. To spread the message UN has developed a framework approach and highlighted three approaches like increased commitment and investment in youth, increased youth participation and partnerships, and increased intercultural understanding among youth.
On this day several educational radio show, public meetings or debate is organised, initiate round table discussions among adults and young people to promote intergenerational understanding, organise a youth forum to exchange ideas, organise a concert, an exhibition, etc. This year the celebration goes online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.