Thursday, August 12, 2010

Celebrating International Youth Day: August 12, 2010

Since 1999, August 12th has been known as International Youth Day (IYD2010). Each year, there is a theme associated with International Youth Day, this year’s being “Dialogue and Mutual Understanding.” This year’s theme promotes and appreciates the variance of dialogue between different cultures and generations.

The day kicks off with an event that takes place at the UN headquarters in New York, while events take place worldwide in celebration of young people. The UN provides a list of ideas for various ways to celebrate, including concerts, art exhibitions and radio shows. Overall, the UN hopes to capture the energy and spirit of motivated young people, and celebrate their commitment to them.

Additionally, the International Year of Youth, which begins on IYD2010, promotes the enhancement of peace and development worldwide. There are several events taking place to celebrate, including the 5th World Youth Congress in Istanbul, Turkey, and the 2010 World Youth Conference in León, Guanajuato, Mexico. A large part of the International Year of Youth’s focus is also on the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), “which seek to slash a host of social ills, ranging from extreme poverty and hunger to maternal and infant mortality to lack of access to education and health care, all by 2015.”

Additionally, United Nations Volunteers (UNV) is in the process of preparing for the 10th anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers (IYV+10) in 2011. Here at ICP, we were fortunate enough to interview IYV+10 Project Director Dr. Simona Costanzo Sow about UNV’s goals, what they hope to accomplish, and how to get involved whether you are an individual or an organization. Dr. Costanzo Sow even provided ways for anyone to get involved and volunteer, and discussed the future publication that the UN will release surrounding diversity and contribution of volunteerism on a global level. Her interview can be found in our Special Edition Newsletter that covers International Youth Day, IYV+10 and the International Year of Youth, and you can find the newsletter here.

Overall, through both IYD2010 and the International Year of Youth, the UN hopes to “generate much needed attention for youth participation and youth development,” by using the energy of those who participate in these events and celebrations.

Are you doing anything special for IYD2010? Let us know in a comment below!

Photo Courtesy of the UN

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