The United Nations, in its resolution 54/120 in 1999, declared August 12 as International Youth Day  in order to celebrate the youth and highlight their contributions and importance to our society. This year, the theme of the International Youth Day is “The Road to 2030; Eradicating Poverty and Achieving Sustainable Production and Consumption.” The commemoration of which will recognize the importance of youth efforts, collaboration and participation in the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, and particularly the young people’s role in ensuring poverty eradication and achieving sustainable development through sustainable production and consumption.
A majority of us are familiar with the term poverty, but just to be clear, poverty pertains to the general scarcity, dearth or state of a person who lacks a certain amount of material possessions or money. It can also be considered as a multifaceted concept – one that includes social, economic and political elements . On the other hand, sustainable consumption entails the use of products and services that meet the basic needs of communities while at the same time safeguarding the needs of future generations . The increase in resource efficiency and the move towards sustainable production could significantly contribute to meeting and providing the basic needs of the majority of people – including making food, water, and energy more accessible and affordable even to those living in poverty.
The next question is why should we care about International Youth Day? The United Nations defines youth as persons between the ages of 15 and 24. The total number of youth, or young people in the world is currently pegged at 1.8 billion – that’s approximately 24% of the total world population of 7.4 billion. This equates to a huge potential to transform countries, and even the world for better or worse – either of which largely depends on what kind of values, morals, and knowledge we are willing to impart to our youth. This is huge responsibility for each and every one of us. So, just because we may be way past our 24th birthday and not feeling too youthful as of the moment does not mean we could not do anything about it.
As adults, a majority of us have youths in our lives – they could be our sons, daughters, godsons, goddaughters, nephews, nieces, neighbors, or even friends; and one of the best things we can do for them this International Youth Day is to impart a few life values that they would hopefully carry with them into adulthood. Here are a few things we can do that could set a good example for the youth in our lives: