Every year on 12 August, the world gets together to celebrate International Youth Day to recognise and bring forth the issues faced by the youth internationally and to highlight and celebrate the potential of youth and their contribution in today’s global society.
The idea for International Youth Day was proposed in 1991 by the young people who were gathered in Vienna, Austria, for the first session of the World Youth Forum of the United Nations System.) The Forum recommended that an International Youth Day be declared, especially for fund-raising and promotional purposes, to support the United Nations Youth Fund in partnership with youth organizations. You shall find more information on the official site.
During the 2021 ECOSOC Youth Forum (EYF) the issues and priorities highlighted by youth participants included their views on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic particularly related to its effect on human health, the environment, and food systems. As part of the official outcome recommendations of EYF, young participants stressed the importance of working towards more equitable food systems.
Through youth education, engagement, innovation and entrepreneurial solutions, this year’s International Youth Day aims to provide a platform for young people to continue the momentum from the ECOSOC Youth Forum in the lead up to the high-level Food Systems Summit. In this context, this year’s International Youth Day focuses on the theme of Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health. This is well aligned with essential areas of communication and science popularisation at Vigyan Setu Foundation.
During the last week of May 2021, Vigyan Setu Foundation conducted an online survey to listen to the Voice of Indian Youth. The ongoing pandemic crisis and the resultant effect on the youth were to be heard, analysed, and understood. Through the questionnaire, four key areas were explored; education and employment, social and health security, mental well-being, and governmental initiatives. Based on the questions asked during online survey and the overwhelming pan-India participation, here is an analysis of the responses received.
The commitment of young people is key to the transformation of food systems and has therefore been incorporated into all work streams and structures of the summits. Without meaningful participation by young people, the success of such a global effort is not achieved. Early years has always been engrained into consumer behaviour which affect the personal health of one and the global environment. Global agriculture is now faced with major challenges, such as feeding a growing world population, the need to address rural poverty and the management of ecosystems’ goods and services in view of global climate change.
Food systems include not simply the fundamental elements of how we bring food from farms, but also all of the processes and infrastructure involved in feeding a population, and negative externalities such as air and ocean pollution and desertification that may be generated during the process. The public health system is also essential in dealing with food challenges, especially since the global burden of diseases is largely influenced by nutritional diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain forms of cancer. Zoonotic diseases, which are the result of unsustainable agriculture and the climate crisis, are also at risk. This has been even more evident during the pandemic that has highlighted those with such chronic diseases are at a higher risk for negative outcomes from COVID-19.
Links to events, you can be a part of:
seeks to contribute to an understanding of how youth social enterprise can support the development of young people and help speed up SDG’s implementation
is celebrated for the realization of the SDG and for the recovery from the COVID 19 pandemic by innovative youth-led solutions. The Festival is a strategy-oriented and timely approach that brings the world together young innovators and solutions manager with United Nations offices, policy makers and industry leaders for a solution-oriented future through youth-oriented innovation. The conference offers opportunities for multi-stakeholder dialog and collaboration on the use of innovation and technology for the achievement of sustainable development goals.
In addition, the festival aims to address how many young innovators from the vulnerable and marginalised community remain behind, despite the growth of digital technology and innovation. The Festival aims at providing a space and a platform for highlighting the highly innovated efforts of young women, LGBTQI young people, indigenous youth, migrants, refugees and stateless youth and young people with disabilities as well as innovative work aimed at achieving equal opportunities for men and women.