Our teens and young adults can have a reputation for being sassy or messy or even lazy, but they also have a tendency to surprise adults with their ability to step up to the plate when it’s least expected. What world leaders (and perhaps we parents) often forget is that almost half the world’s population today is under 30 years of age.
Today is International Youth Day, a day designated by the United Nations to bring awareness to issues having to do with young people. This year’s theme is Youth Civic Engagement. The goal is to see an increase of young people interested and engaged in decision-making processes of governments and community organizations.
The world has some significant goals on it’s to-do list for the next 15 years. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or global goals need all of us, but they especially need our young people to become a reality. As the UN Secretary-General’s Every Woman Every Child initiative reminds us, “a 10-year-old child in 2016 will be 24 in 2030, so today’s adolescents are truly the ‘SDG Generation.’ If we can help them realize their human rights to health, wellbeing, education and full and equal participation in society, who knows how much they will achieve as adults? The human potential of the SDG Generation is virtually limitless.”
Why should youth get involved in global conversations?
Our partners at Women Deliver and Johnson & Johnson show us why we need young people to be a part of these big conversations and take action.
Now more than ever we’re seeing young people from around the world express their desires to have a say in governmental issues and economic life. They want to be involved, they want to learn about how the world around them works, and they want to work to make it better for all of us. Their role is critical in achieving the new Global Goals.
Today, on International Youth Day, let’s embrace what the leaders of our future are capable of, and continue to find ways to get them involved in the world’s important conversations.
Take Action Challenge
We want to hear from you: in what ways do you see young people making changes for the future? How are they making a difference? Head to our facebook page to let us know. Follow the hashtag #YouthDay to hear young people from around the world share their stories, ideas, and experiences.
Ideas to share on your social media channels:
- Youth will play a central role in the world’s to-do list: here’s why http://bit.ly/1HqXepo #EWECisME #YouthDay
- If young people make up almost half the world’s population, why aren’t we including them in policymaking? bit.ly/1E7o4RX #YouthDay
- #FACT: Less than 6% of the parliamentarians globally are under 35 years old. #YouthDay #Youthvoices #EWECisME
- #YouthVoices talk about the #SDGs and #GlobalGoals! Join the campaign too. girlsglobe.org/youthvoices #EWECisME