On December 18, 2009, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the International Year of Youth under the theme “Dialogue and Mutual Understanding” to begin on August 12, 2010 and to conclude on August 12, 2011. This year coincides with the 25th anniversary of the first International Year of Youth.
Representing 18% of the global population, youth between the ages of 15 to 24 are a vital part of today’s society and therefore “…we must do even more to reach out, to listen and to learn from young people” (Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon). This year, IYY provides youth with the opportunity to advocate for youth issues and to encourage dialogue among youth and across generations to promote the ideals of peace, respect for human rights and freedoms, and solidarity.
There are many celebratory events planned for the IYY across the world. The UN Conference on Youth will be a highlight for the year. Other events include an IYY Mega Summit in Nigeria and the 5th World Youth Congress in Turkey. Through such events in celebration of the International Year of Youth, the United Nations will focus on increasing commitment and investment in youth, increasing youth political participation and partnerships as well as boosting inter-cultural understanding among youth.
To learn more about the International Year of the Youth visit http://social.un.org/youthyear/