Globally, there are over 1.8 billion young people -the largest population in history- according to the United Nations Popular Fund. Of this population, about 90% of them live in developing countries. Young people in this time and age are connected like never before. Hence they can harness their global connectedness to propose innovative solutions, drive social and political progress and contribute to the sustainable development of communities.
With less than a decade to 2030, the culmination of efforts from civil society, especially youth organisations, in the developmental goals can help fast track the achievement of the goals.
Today marks the 21st celebration of International Youth Day. The theme is transforming food systems - highlighting the impact of youthful global participation in achieving Innovation for human and planetary health. Also, on this day, youth issues are brought to the attention of the international community.
Young people have played a key role in disseminating health information and public health education, and information in combating the spread and effects of COVID-19. With the use of online technologies, they engaged the public in appealing ways such as videos. A number of youth organisations voluntarily used their platform not only in educating the public but supporting vulnerable people with their basic needs through their social initiatives.
How the youth can support
With less than ten years to 2030, the youth will have to be involved in successfully implementing the goals. We need the youth to build a platform for discussion and active engagement. Young people can be partners in communicating the development agenda to their peers, networks, and communities at local and international levels while mobilising them to act.
The youth need to be empowered with knowledge about their rights to help them drive change in their communities and countries. Additionally, associating oneself with youth-led organisations and networks can help in the development of civic leadership skills.
Here are a few UN-approved resources for young people: