The International Youth Day will be marked today, August 12, and this year the world will celebrate it under the theme “Youth Engagement for Global Action”.

This year’s celebration seeks to highlight the ways in which the engagement of young people at the local, national and global levels is enriching national and multilateral institutions and processes, as well as draw lessons on how their representation and engagement in formal institutional politics can be significantly enhanced.

According to international reports, the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic will make it more difficult for young people to access the labour market, and recent estimates indicate that 600mn jobs must be created over the next 15 years to meet the needs of youth employment.

In 1999, the General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth (Lisbon, 8-12 August 1998) that 12 August be declared International Youth Day.

International Youth Day gives an opportunity to celebrate and mainstream young peoples’ voices, actions and initiatives, as well as their meaningful, universal and equitable engagement.

Qatar is celebrating this occasion, which constitutes an important incentive for youth to work with a promising future vision to face all challenges and achieve goals in all fields. Qatar is working to empower youth and prepare them to make a full contribution to society, development and peace in order to achieve sustainable human development, and to encourage innovation and leadership because youth are the present and the future, and they are the hope and basis for building a safe society.

The country is also encouraging young people to participate in decision-making and activate their role in achieving development and facing challenges, as well as reducing the gap between them by expanding the scope of mutual dialogue.

This year’s Youth Day occurs as the lives and aspirations of young people continue to be upended by the Covid-19 pandemic. Some have lost their lives, and many have seen family members and other loved ones perish.

Guterres called for more investment in integrating the youth and ensuring their participation in the interest of their organisations and initiatives. He called on leaders and adults everywhere to do their best to enable the world’s youth to enjoy a safe, dignified life full of opportunities. The UN said that the Covid-19 pandemic has had severe economic and social impacts around the world and that the youth have a key role to play in managing recovery efforts, pointing out that young innovators are already reacting to the virus outbreak through social impact innovations. Around the world, several initiatives are being developed to capitalise on youth efforts to provide support to populations at risk or already affected by the pandemic. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) reported that more than one in six young people have stopped working since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, while those who remain employed have seen their working hours cut by 23%.

The ILO’s report stated that youth are being disproportionately affected by the pandemic, and the substantial and rapid increase in youth unemployment seen since February is affecting young women more than young men. The report pointed out that the pandemic is inflicting a triple shock on young people. Not only is it destroying their employment, but it is also disrupting education and training, and placing major obstacles in the way of those seeking to enter the labor market or to move between jobs.

ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said, “The Covid-19 economic crisis is hitting young people, especially women, harder and faster than any other group. If we do not take significant and immediate action to improve their situation, the legacy of the virus could be with us for decades. If their talent and energy is sidelined by a lack of opportunity or skills it will damage all our futures and make it much more difficult to rebuild a better, post-Covid economy.”

Source : Gulf Times

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