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International Youth Day 2023: Green Skills

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By Mercy Kelani

IYD was proposed in 1991 by young people in a gathering at Vienna, Austria.

In 1965, the United Nations General Assembly approved the declaration on the promotion among Youth of the Ideals of Peace, Mutual Respect and Understanding between Peoples, under resolution 2037 (XX). For the next decade, the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council stressed three key needs in this field. They include development, participation and peace. Therefore, the need for an international policy on young people was encouraged. In 1979, by resolution 34/151, the General Assembly declared 1985 as International Youth Year: Participation, Development, Peace.

The United Nations General Assembly, in December 2009, adopted resolution 64/134 and announced the commencement of the International Year of Youth from August 12, 2010. The assembly called on civil society, communities, governments and individuals across the world to render assistance to activities that mark the event at local and international levels. The year coincided with the 25th anniversary of the first ever International Youth Year that was began in 1985. Through resolution 40/14, the Assembly released guidelines for further planning in the field.

It was declared for fund-raising and promotional purposes.

Commemoration of International Youth Day (IYD) is done on a yearly basis on August 12. It brings to the attention of the international community, the issues of young people, and celebrates their potential in the global society that exists today. The idea for IYD was developed in 1991 by young people in a gathering for the first session of the World Youth Forum of the United Nations System, held in Vienna, Austria. The Forum proposed that IYD be declared for fund-raising and promotional purposes to provide support for the UN Youth Fund in collaboration with young people organisations.

Adoption of a resolution that proclaimed August 12 as IYD was done by the first session of the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth, hosted by the Government of Portugal in partnership with the United Nations. Subsequently, the recommendation was approved by the 54th session of the General Assembly in resolution A/RES/54/120, tagged “Policies and programmes involving youth”, held on December 17, 1999. Recommendation of the public information activities was also rendered by the Assembly for promotion of better awareness.

Green skills are more important to the younger generation.

Year 2023’s theme for IYD is “Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World. The world is currently undergoing a green transition. This transition towards a climate-friendly and environmentally sustainable world is essential as a response to the global climate crisis and also for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). To successfully shift towards a greener world, the development of green skills in the population will play a huge role. These skills refer to abilities, attitudes, knowledge and values required to develop, live in, and support a sustainable society.

Also, they include technical skills and knowledge that aid the efficient use of green technologies and processes in occupational spaces and transversal skills that rely on a set of values, knowledge, and attitudes for the enhancement of environmentally sustainable decisions in work as well as in life. As a result of their interdisciplinary nature, the essence of these skills is sometimes made apparent through related terms like “skills for green jobs” and “skills for the future”. Although green skills are important to people of all ages, they are more important to the younger generation who can contribute to the transition for a longer period.

By 2030, the number of youth will increase by 7 percent.

When empowered with the necessary knowledge and opportunities required to prosper, young people can positively influence development. Currently, there are 1.2 billion young people between the age range of 15 and 24 years, who account for 16 percent of the worldwide population. By 2030, which is the target year for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) that constitute the 2030 Agenda, the number of youth is predicted to have increased by 7 percent, with a total of 1.3 billion.

Related Link

United Nations: Website

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