Video Message by Jayathma Wickramanayake, UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, on the Occasion of the International Youth Day
12 August 2019
Today, our world is younger than it has ever been. Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 will a dream rather than a reality, without the full and effective participation of young people. Their contribution and their leadership are not only significant for our future; they are necessary!
Young people are ready to step up and take action to transform their communities and our world. But we must guarantee their empowerment and support to fulfill their fullest potential. And education is key to ensuring this. However, today in our world, 262 million children and young people aged 6 to 17 are out of school. This is far worse for young people living in conflict-affected areas, and especially for young women and girls.
This year’s International Youth Day’s theme, “transforming education,” highlights these efforts to make education more inclusive and more accessible for all young people.
Education for young people goes beyond classrooms. Young people need to be empowered through inclusive education, including non-formal and informal education. This includes ensuring they have access to comprehensive sexuality education, education on climate change, education on peace and security, and education on civic and political participation.
Ensuring quality education for all young people is not only the responsibility of governments, it’s also a responsibility for everyone. So, let us dedicate more time, more resources, more support and more commitment to young people.
Happy International Youth Day!