UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said youths can play a 'critical role' in creating a peaceful world for the generations to come.
“Together, we can create a peaceful world for the generations to come,” he said in a video message on the occasion of International Youth Day, marked annually on August 12.
The United Nations kicked off a commemorative event at its New York Headquarters with his message in which he underscored his commitment to young people.
“I'm truly happy to address you on International Youth Day,” the Secretary-General said in the video message.
“As Secretary-General of the United Nations, I’m committed to the empowerment and inclusion of every young person around the world,” he added.
In this spirit, the UN Secretary General appointed an “impressive” new Youth Envoy. He introduced 26-year-old Jayathma Wickramanayake of Sri Lanka as the youngest and “one of the most important” members of his team.
“Governments must work with young people to successfully achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Empowered young men and women can play a critical role in preventing conflicts and ensuring sustainable peace,” said Guterres.
After the Youth Envoy invited everyone to join in mobilising young people, the Secretary-General said, “Together, we can create a peaceful world for generations to come.”
UN Offices in Bangladesh also celebrated the Day in a befitting manner, officials in Dhaka said.
UNDP, UNV and UNFPA organised a Youth Carnival in Krishibid Institute. Another event - youth reception took place at Hazaribagh Community Centre, organised by UNIC Dhaka, Dhakabashi Organisation and National Federation of Youth Organisations in Bangladesh.
Against the backdrop that many of the world's 1.2 billion young people are affected by the hardship of conflict and war, the 2017 edition of the International Day is being celebrated under the theme 'Youth Building Peace,’ according to UN News Centre.
Considering the matters of youths, peace and security from a social developmental perspective, this year, the Day is recognising that more and more societies around the world are recognising the role of youths as agents of change and critical actors in preventing conflicts and building peace.
In December 1999, the UN General Assembly endorsed the recommendations made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for youths that August 12 be declared International Youth Day.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development committed to fostering peaceful and inclusive societies and affirmed that “Sustainable development cannot be realised without peace and security”.
Goal 16 aims to ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels.
The World Programme of Action for Youth, which provides a policy framework and practical guidelines to improve the situation of young people, also encourages “promoting the active involvement of youth in maintaining peace and security”.