The theme of International Youth Day (IYD) 2020, “Youth Engagement for Global Action” seeks to highlight the ways in which the engagement of young people at the local, national and global levels is enriching national and multilateral institutions and processes, as well as draw lessons on how their representation and engagement in formal institutional politics can be significantly enhanced.
As the United Nations turns 75, and with only 10 years remaining to make the 2030 Agenda a reality for all, trust in public institutions is eroding. At the international level, against the backdrop of an increasingly polarized world, the international system of governance is currently undergoing a crisis of legitimacy and relevance. In particular, this crisis is rooted in the need to strengthen the capacity of the international system to act in concert and implement solutions to pressing challenges and threats (examples include some of the worst contemporary conflicts and humanitarian emergencies, such as Syria and Myanmar, as well as global challenges, such as the COVID-19 outbreak and climate change).
This year’s IYD seeks to put the spotlight on youth engagement through the following three interconnected streams:
1. Engagement at the local /community level
2. Engagement at the national level (formulation of laws, policies, and their implementation)
3. Engagement at the global level
Under my jurisdiction as the coordinator of Ukraine, there was the engagement of a good number of young people from within Ukraine and Ghana at large. Youth from these countries expressed their sentiments and addressed the general public through article writing, virtual podcast discussion, delivered from youth to youth, alongside creative artists. GALLERY
Again, there were series of online awareness across board for the youth. Dr. Shriya, a communication and youth work professional, (WAY Foundation) through an Instagram live, educated the entire populace on ways to reaching out to the youth. She advised that the youth must grab every opportunity by the horn and really make good use of it.
Dr. Shriya added that, parents and guardians should lend listening ears to their children and hear their plights and outcries.
Furthermore, there was the initiation of a GLOBAL MEET program, thus an online platform connecting the globe to make the voices of the youth heard. Youths from Ghana, Syria, Nepal, Kosovo, Zimbabwe, Indonesia, Canada, Tanzania, Cameroon, Bangladesh, Algeria, India were part of this Global Campaign along with the members from Ukraine. They deliberated and shared ideas on sensitive topics pertinent to them. During the program, the youth mentioned ways to make subsequent international youth day celebrations spread its wings and attract lots of engagements from the youth globally. They also came up with sources of funding and sponsors to aid. The mention of hundrED foundations, amongst others.
Various breakout rooms during the program believe that implementing the following will help bring the youth on board and get their full participation.
- Organization of strong leadership programs in schools, universities, etc.
- Conduction of regular sports events globally
- Socialization and partnership
“I call on leaders and adults everywhere to do everything possible to enable the world’s youth to enjoy lives of safety, dignity and opportunity and contribute to the fullest of their great potential”. António Guterres
In conclusion, I deem it a great privilege to be a part of International Youth Day Celebrations 2020 and I am really proud working with such a fine team.
I must admit that I was overwhelmed by the awesome response from the people from within Ukraine and globally.
With the authority vested in me as the coordinator for Ukraine and its environs, I cease this opportunity to admonish the youth to realize the essence of bringing all hands on deck to promote youth empowerment across the globe.
Finally, I would like to encourage the youth to engage themselves effectively in global youth activities as it paves more opportunities to hone and harness their capabilities and potentials.