Updated at 1859 GMT on Thur 12 Aug 2021
BAGHDAD-The 12th of August marks the International Youth Day every year, a day to celebrate and mainstream young peoples’ voices, actions, and initiatives, as well as their meaningful, universal, and equitable engagement.
This year’s theme, “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health”, highlights the success of global efforts through the meaningful participation of young people.
In the region, Euphrates & Tigris rivers are currently experiencing drought conditions, resulting in lower river flow, and affecting dam storage. The current season is the second driest in 40 years. Iraq is anticipating a serious drought this summer following a particularly dry winter and reduced river flow caused by upstream damming programs by riparian countries.
Climate change has potential impacts on food security such as reduction in wheat production, decrease in surface water storage, drying of shallower wells due to insufficient groundwater recharge, and an increase in the cost of water. If the dry conditions continue, and the water reservoirs are not replenished, the population will face an acute water shortage for irrigation of the next cropping season.
To mark the occasion, young people, the change-makers for a better future, converged and led the discussion on issues around food security in their communities in Fallujah, Anbar district. The event was attended by Anbar’s Governor, Dr. Ai Farhan AlDulaimy, and UNICEF Iraq Representative,
Sheema SenGupta. An online discussion event on youth engagement in food security led by young people also took place in Duhok governorate.
“As we celebrate young people together with our partners, we must ensure they are heard and included in the decision-making process, by highlighting solutions developed by them to address food security challenges,” said Sheema SenGupta, UNICEF Representative to Iraq during the event.
Zain provided entertainment and distributed some promotional materials. The agencies commended all their partners including Zain for being allies to young people in Iraq
UNICEF and UNV are working closely with the Ministry of Youth and Sports to mainstream civic engagement and volunteering among young people across Iraq for sustainable development, including for environmental and climate change. A new national innovative initiative is being jointly set up, with the aim of providing young people with access to a wide range of engagement opportunities in different sectors.
The two UN agencies reiterate calls for an inclusive mechanism that ensures support from decision-makers to address the youth’s needs to overcome the situations and work together in bringing change to their community. We must come together and show our commitment by dedicating resources to young people to achieve sustainable development for all.
International Youth Day
In 1999, in its resolution 54/120, 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. The Assembly recommended that public information activities be organized to support the Day as a way to promote better awareness of the World Programme of Action for Youth, adopted by the General Assembly in 1995 (resolution 50/81).
International Youth Day is commemorated every year on 12 August. The Focal Point on Youth selects a theme for the day often with input from youth organizations and members of the UN Inter-Agency Network in Youth development. It also organizes a virtual commemoration of the Day. The Programme encourages youth around the world to organize activities to raise awareness about the situation of youth in their country.
Celebrations of International Youth Day
- IYD 2020 – Youth Engagement for Global Action
- IYD 2019 – Transforming Education
- IYD 2018 – Safe Spaces for Youth
- IYD 2017 – Youth Building Peace
- IYD 2016 – Road to 2030: Eradicating Poverty and Achieving Sustainability
- IYD 2015 – Youth Civic Engagement
- IYD 2014 – Mental Health Matters
- IYD 2013 – Youth Migration: Moving Development Forward
- IYD 2012 – Building a Better World: Partnering with Youth
- IYD 2011 – Change Our World
- IYD 2010 – Dialogue and Mutual Understanding
- IYD 2009 – Sustainability: Our Challenge. Our Future.
- IYD 2008 – Youth and Climate Change: Time for Action
- IYD 2007 – Be seen, Be heard: Youth participation for development
- IYD 2006 – Tackling Poverty Together
- IYD 2005 – WPAY+10: Making Commitments Matter
- IYD 2004 – Youth in an Intergenerational Society
- IYD 2003 – Finding decent and productive work for young people everywhere
- IYD 2002 – Now and for the Future: Youth Action for Sustainable Development
- IYD 2001 – Addressing Health and Unemployment
- First Observance of International Youth Day 2000