International Year of Youth

Each year, International Youth Day (IYD) is assigned a new theme; a conceptual slogan that communicates the scope, direction, and objectives of the year’s youth initiatives and also provides a unifying banner from under which individuals can draw the inspiration to take action.

“Youth deserve our full commitment – full access to education, adequate healthcare, employment opportunities, financial services and full participation in public life.”
– United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

International Youth Day 2012 “Building a Better World: Partnering with Youth”

In 2012, The International Youth Day was celebrated on the 12 of August. The theme was “Building a Better World: Partnering with Youth”, relating to an announcement the Secretary-General made in January, where he committed to “address the needs of the largest generation of young people the world has ever known”. Ban Ki-moon also revealed the development of a System-Wide Action Plan (SWAP) on Youth as well as the appointment of a Special Advisor on Youth and a UN Youth Volunteers Programme. Five thematic areas were highlighted in developing these initiatives: employment, entrepreneurship, political inclusion, citizenship and protection of rights, and education, including on sexual and reproductive health. Read the message for the International Youth Day 2012 by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon here. Read more about the Youth Day and the activities that were arranged by UN DESA before and during the day here or, for more information on the Secretary-General’s Five Year Agenda, why not read the July edition of Youth Flash.

International Year of Youth on Dialogue and Mutual Understanding 2010-2011

The International Year of Youth on Dialogue and Mutual Understanding was celebrated from August 12, 2010 to August 12, 2011. The year coincided with the 25th anniversary of the first International Youth Year in 1985 on the theme Participation, Development and Peace. The 2010-2011 International Year of Youth aimed to raise awareness about the need to increase commitment and investment in youth, mobilize and engage for increased youth participation and partnerships, as well as connect and build bridges as a way to advance intercultural understanding among youth.

In its resolution proclaiming the Year, the United Nations General Assembly called on governments, civil society, individuals and communities worldwide to support activities at local and international levels to mark the event. The Year also encouraged young people to dedicate themselves to fostering progress, including the attainment of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.

The UNAOC was a partner of the International Year of Youth on Dialogue and Mutual Understanding, and several activities were undertaken by the UNAOC as contributions to the year. These included background documents, a briefing of members states, a panel on youth and new social media, etc.

For more information about the Year, please consult the official UN website. You can contribute to the Year of Youth with questions and get updates via Twitter (@un4youth #IYD2012) and Facebook.