The Secretary-General of the United Nations has called for increased investment in issues that affect the youth.
In his annual message on the day, Ban Ki-moon, charged governments and organisations to involve the youth because they can “contribute to new markets, decent jobs, fair trade, sustainable housing, transport and tourism…”
Despite these contributions to society, young people face numerous challenges. In Ghana and much of Africa, some of these problems include lack of education, unemployment and difficult access to capital to start enterprises.
According to the International Labour Organisation (2015 report), youth unemployment is three times the rate of adult unemployment.
The theme of this year’s celebrations is “The Road to 2030: Eradicating Poverty and Achieving Sustainable Consumption and Production” with a special focus on Goal 12 of the Sustainable Development Goals and Mr Ban is urging increased backing.
“I am proud that the United Nations is actively engaged in supporting young leaders who can carry out the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Goal 12 on sustainable consumption and production patterns.
I encourage all young people to become involved in advancing the SDGs and demanding action by their Governments. My Youth Envoy is eager to connect you to our campaigns, which are being carried out across the entire United Nations system."
“On International Youth Day, I urge others to join this global push for progress. Let us empower young people with the resources, backing and space they need to create lasting change in our world.”
International Youth Day was established in 1999 with resolution 54/120, with the aim of celebrating young people and addressing the problems that face them. Around the world, August 12 is marked with numerous youth-led activities.