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Challenges of the 21st Century-8
Celebrating Youth: International Youth Day 2008
"Youth and Climate Change: Time for Action"

International Youth Day 2008. Photos & Illustration: eEyeCam

New York, August 12, 2008- Youth are like blossoms in the garden. Every one goes through this precious stage of life’s development. And today's youth has more responsibility than ever. Our ballooning world population is 6.7 billion and our youth population is 1.2 billion which is 18 percent of the global population according to United Nations data. The UN defines youth as those between the ages of 15 and 24.

The UN General Assembly on 17 December 1999 in its resolution 54/120, 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 UN World Population Prospects 2006 report estimates that the global youth labour force was 633 million in 2005. More than half of them, approx. 353 million or 55.7 per cent of the total, lived in Asia. By 2015, the Asian youth workforce is expected to increase to 361 million.

The UN selected this year's theme "Youth and Climate Change: Time for Action" in recognition of the fact that climate change has already begun to devastate communities and deepen the effects of poverty and hunger. This situation complicates the challenges that youth face. What is more, young people are increasingly adding their voices to the call for action on climate change.

The UN says, "It is important to actively engage youth in areas of preparedness, risk reduction, adaptation and mitigation:

Preparedness and disaster risk reduction is about building individual and community capacities so that the likelihood of climate change-induced disasters is reduced and that people are able to respond promptly, expeditiously and effectively. Adaptation entails actions that moderate harm, or exploit benefits, of climate change. Mitigation entails actions that minimize or cushion the adverse impacts of climate change.
  International Youth Day gives the world an opportunity to recognize the potential of youth, to celebrate their achievements, and plan for ways to better engage young people in successfully taking action in the development of their societies. It presents a unique opportunity for all stakeholders to rally together to ensure that young people are included in decision-making at all levels."

In his message for this occasion, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says, "Though the science of climate change is complex, the facts are simple: our world is heading towards trouble. I saw this last year when I visited the Antarctic, where age-old ice is melting much faster than we originally thought it would. Left unaddressed, climate change could cause an unraveling of the progress that has been made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals, and could also have serious implications for peace and security. Unless we make radical changes in the way we live, by the time the youth of 2008 reach my age, the world may well have become a rather inhospitable place."

The General Secretary further says that today’s young people will bear the consequences of climate change, thanks to the unfortunate legacy of their elders. In many developing countries in particular, youth - especially girls and young women - are often responsible for farming, finding water and collecting wood for fuel. These tasks will be rendered more difficult – and will take even more time away from education or productive activities – as climate change affects the availability of water, agricultural productivity and the survival of ecosystems.

"Yet young people are also well placed to contribute to the fight even now. They are adept at spreading new habits and technologies. They are adaptable and can quickly make low carbon lifestyles and career choices a part of their daily lives. Youth should therefore be given a chance to take an active part in the decision-making of local, national and global levels. And they can actively support initiatives that will lead to the passage of far-reaching legislation. We will need the spirit of youth in abundance as the world seeks to embrace cleaner, more sustainable forms of energy, including renewable resources. The transition to a low-carbon economy that we hope young people will see in their lifetimes offers tremendous opportunities.
Not least, economic growth that is fuelled by clean energy and technological innovation will create jobs that could help alleviate the dire global problem of youth unemployment.

On this International Youth Day, I urge young people around the world to invest their energies and bright ideas into shaping a safer, more sustainable planet," the Secretary General concludes.

Time for us to take action, really!

Previous Celebrations of International Youth Day include:
2007 - Be seen, Be heard: Youth participation for development
2006 - Tackling Poverty Together
2005 - WPAY+10: Making Commitments Matter
2004 - Youth in an Intergenerational Society
2003 - Finding decent and productive work for young people everywhere
2002 - Now and for the Future: Youth Action for Sustainable Development
2001 - Addressing Health and Unemployment
2000 - First Observance of International Youth Day

-Pratha Magar in New York. Comments? 551-358-7726
  Read our Challenges of 21st Century Series by Pradeep Thapa:

Challenges of the 21st Century-7
The Fate of the World’s 49 Poorest Countries
Nepal needs 55 years and more to be out of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) List
Challenges of the 21st Century-6
World Population Day: 6,709,195,643 (GMT 01:57) and Counting...
Challenges of the 21st Century-5
Women’s Commission releases landmark report on refugees with disabilities:
Voice of 3.5 million people with disabilities among the world’s 35 million displaced people
Challenges of the 21st Century-4
World Refugee Day 2008: "We're thinking of you this day"
-UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador & Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie
Challenges of the 21st Century-3
World Environment Day 2008 & CO2
Challenges of the 21st Century-2
World’s Indigenous Voices Echo at United Nations Headquarters in New York
Challenges of the 21st Century-1
Dedicate an Hour of Darkness to the Mother Earth
  तपाईंको भनाइ लेखी छाड्‍न र अरुको भनाइ पढ्न यहाँ क्लिक गर्नुहोस्
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