International Youth Day is being observed across the world today. The day is celebrated every year on this day. It was in 1999 that the United Nations first decided to celebrate the day as International Youth Day. It may be noted that those who attended the UN’s World Youth Forum in Vienna, Austria, came up with the suggestion to celebrate International Youth Day to help collect funds for the United Nations Youth Fund. It was decided to celebrate August 12 as International Youth Day during the first session of the World Conference of Ministers, which was held in Lisbon in August 199. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) cleared the suggestion in 1999. Since then, the day is celebrated every year.
This day also emphasizes the need for the youth to have opportunities for education, healthcare, jobs, and the importance of their participation in public life. It is also important to know that a large number of youth at present are suffering from unemployment and mental and physical health issues. The theme of this year’s International Youth Day is “Intergenerational solidarity: Creating a world for all ages”.
According to the Agenda 2030 of the United Nations, harmony and cooperation among youth and older generations is important for sustainable development goals. This year, the focus is on ageism. Notably, the young and old both face the issue and are very often affected by psychological and financial issues which also impact society.
The World Health Organisation, in its March 2021 report on Ageism, said this issue is quite significant among the youth. A qualified young person often faces rejections during the job search and is often forced to receive a lower salary. They also face ageism in matters of justice and politics.
In order to prevent this, intergenerational cooperation must be encouraged to discourage ageism. Also, judicial and legal changes must be followed in order to develop a more tolerant and inclusive society.