In 1999, the General Assembly 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.
International Youth Day gives an opportunity to celebrate and mainstream young peoples’ voices, actions and initiatives, as well as their meaningful, universal and equitable engagement.
There is no universally agreed international definition of the youth age group. For statistical purposes, however, the United Nations - without prejudice to any other definitions made by Member States - defines "youth" as those persons between the ages of 15 and 24 years. This definition, which arose in the context of preparations for the International Youth Year (1985) (see A/36/215), was endorsed by the General Assembly in its resolution 36/28 of 1981.
This statistically oriented definition of youth, in turn, entails that children are considered those persons under the age of 14. Worthy of note, however, is that Article 1 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child defines ‘children’ as persons up to the age of 18. At the time, it was hoped that the Convention would provide protection and rights to as large an age-group as possible, especially as there was no similar document on the rights of youth.
Many countries also draw the line on youth with regard to the age at which a person is given equal treatment under the law - often referred to as the "age of majority." This age is commonly 18 in many countries; so that once a person attains this age, he or she is considered to be an adult. Nonetheless, the operational definition and nuances of the term "youth" vary from country to country, depending on relative sociocultural, institutional, economic and political factors.
Today, there are 1.2 billion young people aged 15 to 24 years, accounting for 16 per cent of the global population . By 2030 - the target date for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that make up the 2030 Agenda - the number of youth is projected to have grown by 7 per cent, to nearly 1.3 billion.
The theme of International Youth Day 2020, “Youth Engagement for Global Action” seeks to highlight the ways in which the engagement of young people at the local, national and global levels is enriching national and multilateral institutions and processes, as well as draw lessons on how their representation and engagement in formal institutional politics can be significantly enhanced.
At the international level, against the backdrop of an increasingly polarized world, the international system of governance is currently undergoing a crisis of legitimacy and relevance. In particular, this crisis is rooted in the need to strengthen the capacity of the international system to act in concert and implement solutions to pressing challenges and threats.
Enabling the engagement of youth in formal political mechanisms does increase the fairness of political processes by reducing democratic deficits, contributes to better and more sustainable policies, and also has symbolic importance that can further contribute to restore trust in public institutions, especially among youth. Moreover, the vast majority of challenges humanity currently faces, such as the COVID-19 outbreak and climate change require concerted global action and the meaningful engagement and participation of young people to be addressed effectively.
Youth Social Entrepreneurship and the 2030 Agenda seeks to contribute to the understanding of how youth social entrepreneurship can both support youth development and help accelerate the implementation of the SDGs. To do so, the Report first synthesizes the current discussion on social entrepreneurship and anchors it in the context of the 2030 Agenda.
The Report then turns toward the situation of youth and examines weather youth social entrepreneurship can offer not only employment opportunities, but also support other elements of youth development such as youth participation. An assessesment of the potential and the challenges of youth social entrepreneurship as a tool supporting the 2030 Agenda and youth development in its broadest sense is also covered.
Finally, the report examines how new technologies can be leveraged to address some challenges faced by young social entrepreneurs as well as further support youth social entrepreneurship in its efforts to advance sustainable development. It also offers policy guidance to build enabling, responsive and sustainable national ecosystems for young social entrepreneurs.
To view the complete report, click here.
Source : UN