International Youth Day 2016

 In News

Did you know 12 August is your day?  International Youth Day 2016 isn’t just a chance to change the world, but to change your own life, too.

What is International Youth Day?

Every year on 12 August, the world celebrates International Youth Day. The annual occasion – spearheaded by the UN – celebrates young people and raises awareness about issues that affect them. There are events all over the world, and each year has a designated theme. 2016’s theme is achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

What is the Agenda for Sustainable Development?

The Agenda for Sustainable Development is a universal plan initiated by the UN for the next fourteen years. It incorporates series of goals and targets related to ensuring lasting peace, prosperity and equality, utilising the three pillars of three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental.

This International Youth Day is primarily focused on what those of you familiar with the Sustainable Development Goals will know as Goal #12: Responsible Consumption and Production. It’s part of this ambitious yet achievable Agenda, and one in which young people are poised to assist.

Why is sustainable development important for youth?

The UN recently recognised the unparalleled role young people can play in global affairs. For the SDGs, the UN is particularly interested in the help young people can provide in poverty eradication and sustainable development.

Considering it’s our future on the line, ensuring communities have the options and opportunities to utilise eco-efficient products and minimise waste and pollution is key to the progress and well-being of people and societies for generations to come. Only we have the true motivation and power to stand up for our future.

Why should I care about International Youth Day?

You should care about International Youth Day because there are more youth on the planet than ever before. The UN Population Fund estimates that the population of people between 10 and 24 is 1.8 billion (check out more facts with our Youth Day Infographic). If each young person does something to help their community, just imagine the difference we can make in the world.

Not only that, but with youth unemployment already hitting record highs – with predictions that it will get worse – creating opportunities for young people to build skills and confidence and involving them in conversations about local and global issues is more important than ever.


How can I get involved?

International Youth Day is a day when the whole world is forced to recognise how brilliant and important young people are.

You can harness the energy of the day by organising an event – like a youth debate or a talent show – to an activity – like planting trees around town or holding a community football game. Email the UN at to tell them what you’re up to, and they’ll add it to their world map online.

What you do needn’t relate to the year’s theme. Just showing your community (and the UN) what you’re capable of is what International Youth Day is all about.

Find an issue that matters to you, contact your friends and on 12 August, make it happen. Get your activity some traction and/or recognition using #YouthDay or #Youth2030 to spread the word.

What else can I do?

The UN’s pulling out all the stops for this year’s International Youth Day, so there’s lots of ways you can get involved:

Have a great International Youth Day, everyone!

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