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Celebrating the Vibrant Spirit of Youth on International Youth Day

12 August 2023

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“A few heart-whole, sincere, and energetic men and women can do more in a year than a mob in a century.” - Swami Vivekananda

Introduction

On this International Youth Day, we come together to honor and celebrate the dynamic and inspiring young minds who are shaping our future. With their boundless energy, innovative ideas, and unyielding determination, the youth hold the key to creating a just and sustainable world. As we embark on a global green transition and work towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it is crucial to equip young people with the necessary green skills. This article dives deep into the concept of green skills, their importance in the green transition, and the role of youth in building a sustainable world.

The Green Transition and its Significance

The world is currently undergoing a green transition, a shift towards a more environmentally sustainable and climate-friendly future. This transition is not only essential for addressing the global climate crisis but also for achieving the SDGs. To ensure the success of this transition, the development of green skills in the population becomes imperative.

Green skills encompass a wide range of knowledge, abilities, values, and attitudes needed to live, develop, and support a sustainable and resource-efficient society. These skills include both technical expertise in utilizing green technologies and processes, as well as transversal skills that enable individuals to make environmentally sustainable decisions in their work and personal lives. Green skills are often referred to as "skills for the future" and "skills for green jobs," emphasizing their interdisciplinary nature.

The Importance of Green Skills for Youth

While green skills are relevant for individuals of all ages, they hold particular significance for young people. As half of the global population is 30 years old or younger, the youth have a longer period to contribute to the green transition. By equipping them with green skills, we empower them to actively participate in building a sustainable world.

Young people possess a unique perspective and can bring fresh ideas and innovative solutions to the table. By nurturing their green skills, we enable them to become agents of change and drive the transition toward a greener future. Moreover, investing in green skills for youth is an investment in their future employability, as the green transition is projected to create approximately 8.4 million jobs for young people by 2030.

Webinar on Green Skills for Youth

In commemoration of International Youth Day 2023, the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) is organizing a global webinar in collaboration with the UN Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth and Generation Unlimited. This webinar aims to provide critical information and data on green skills for youth while fostering discussions and an exchange of ideas. Experts from international organizations, national governments, and young professionals working in this field will share their perspectives and insights.

The webinar agenda includes sessions on various aspects of green skills, such as the current landscape of green jobs, strategies for developing green skills, and success stories of young individuals contributing to the green transition. The knowledge products developed from this webinar will support and inspire stakeholders to celebrate International Youth Day 2023 in their respective contexts.

Youth and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The youth play a pivotal role in the implementation of the SDGs. With their energy and enthusiasm, they have the potential to drive progress across all 17 goals. However, it is crucial to create opportunities for young people to actively participate and have a say in policy development and change. Currently, only 2.6% of parliamentarians globally are under the age of 30, and female representation among young MPs is even lower.

To address this imbalance, it is necessary to provide platforms and initiatives that empower young people to engage in decision-making processes. By amplifying youth voices and perspectives, we can create more inclusive and effective political systems. This International Youth Day, let us recognize the importance of youth participation and work towards creating a world where young people have equal opportunities to shape their future.

Celebrating the Vibrant Spirit of Youth

International Youth Day serves as a reminder to celebrate the vibrant spirit of youth and acknowledge their immense potential. The world is witnessing a demographic shift, with young people projected to constitute 57% of the global population by 2030. It is crucial to invest in their education, skills, and well-being to harness their full potential for sustainable development.

A recent survey revealed that 67% of people believe in a better future, with 15 to 17-year-olds exhibiting the highest levels of optimism. However, there is a widespread consensus that the age balance in politics is skewed. A significant majority, across all age groups, agree that giving more opportunities to younger people to have a say in policy development would improve political systems.

Conclusion

On this International Youth Day, let us stand with and support the young minds who are shaping our future. By equipping them with green skills, we empower them to contribute to the global green transition and work towards a sustainable world. It is essential to provide platforms for their voices to be heard and include them in decision-making processes. Together, we can build a just and sustainable world where the dreams of the youth can flourish and make a lasting impact.

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