The idea for International Youth Day was proposed in 1991 during the first session of the World Youth Forum. The Forum recommended that an International Youth Day be declared, especially for fund-raising and promotional purposes, to support the United Nations Youth Fund in partnership with youth organizations.
International Youth Day was officially adopted by a resolution in 1998. The recommendation was afterwards endorsed by the 54th session of the General Assembly, in its resolution A/RES/54/120 called "Policies and programmes involving youth".
Already in 1965, the United Nations was very active on the subject of youth, by endorsing the Declaration on the Promotion among Youth of the Ideals of Peace, Mutual Respect and Understanding between Peoples.
Leave no one behind
This year, the central message of International Youth Day is to intensify the message that action is needed across all generations to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and to leave no one behind. The UN Secretary-General António Guterres has said: “On this important day, let’s join hands across generations to break down barriers, and work as one to achieve a more equitable, just and inclusive world for all people."
Moreover, the theme of this year’s International Youth Day is ‘intergenerational solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages’. It emphasizes the importance of solidarity across generations, as it is key for sustainable development. According to the UN, “Ageism is an insidious and often an unaddressed issue in health, human rights and development, and has bearings on both older and younger populations around the world. In addition, ageism regularly intersects with other forms of bias (such as racism and sexism) and impacts people in ways that prevent them to reach their full potential and comprehensively contribute to their community.”
Better Internet for Kids support for International Youth Day
Here on the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) portal, we focus on the importance of youth participation in internet governance issues in support of the day. Children and youth shall indeed be considered as full partners in all efforts conducted to achieve transformational change for online safety-related issues.
- The new Better Internet for Kids strategy called BIK+ has a special focus on youth. The third pillar states that young people must be respected by giving them a say in the digital environment, with more child-led activities to foster innovative and creative safe digital experiences, for example, the BIK Youth panel. Read the article on the new BIK+ strategy and discover more about how the EU wants to make sure that every child and young person is protected, empowered, and respected online.
- A further example is the work of the Better Internet for Kids Youth Panel, convened annually to represent the voices of the young people from across Europe on online safety, digital literacy, and internet governance issues. Learn more about how children and young people are actively participating in the Better Internet for Kids agenda and shaping a better, safer online experience for the future on the BIK Youth portal.
- 2022 is the European Year of Youth. By making 2022 the European Year of Youth, the European Commission honours young people as agents of change and the bearers of ideas to build a better future. A future that will be greener, more digital, more inclusive, and more peaceful. Read more about the European Commission’s efforts for a better future for youth.