International Youth Day 2020: History, significance and theme of this special day this year

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August 12, 2020 1:00 PM

The day came into being for the first time in the year 2000 when the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) announced to the world that August 12 would be celebrated as the International Youth Day.

A special and unique theme is chosen for the celebration of the day every year by the United Nations befitting and in accordance with the significant happenings of the year. (Representative image)

The world is celebrating the International Youth Day today. While the usual fanfare seen every year is missing in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic this year, the significance of the day assumes more importance as the world is grappling with an unprecedented crisis and it is the youth of today who are to shoulder such a crisis and march their way ahead. Let us look at why the world celebrates this special day and what is the history behind this special day.

When was International Youth Day first celebrated?
The day came into being for the first time in the year 2000 when the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) announced to the world that August 12 would be celebrated as the International Youth Day. The announcement was made by the UNGA in December 1999 and the first time it was celebrated was on August 12, 2000. The intent behind celebrating this day is to renew the focus of the youth towards various socio-political and economical challenges which are being faced by the world. Increased participation of the young in day to day affairs ranging from politics, environment, science and technology and a host of other issues is the ultimate goal behind celebrating this day.

How is the International Youth Day celebrated?
A special and unique theme is chosen for the celebration of the day every year by the United Nations befitting and in accordance with the significant happenings of the year. Events, conferences, and a host of discussions are then held on the same theme in different parts of the world. Attention is also devoted to ensure that the youth participate in all these events rigorously and express their opinions and views about the issues being faced by the world.

What is the theme of this year’s International Youth Day?
‘Youth Engagement for Global Action’ has been kept as the theme for this year by the United Nations. As the world is beset with Coronavirus crisis this year and no definite solution to tide over this crisis in sight, it is incumbent upon the youth of the world to not only make concerted efforts to take the world out of this crisis but also deal with its aftermath. The theme chosen for the celebration of International Youth Day last year was Transforming Education which aimed at making the education system for the youth more relevant and practical with their needs.

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