This year the theme of International Youth Day is Youth Civic Engagement. Today, the UN Department of Economics and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) is organising an event at the UN Headquarters to commemorate International Youth Day under this theme. Youth Civic Engagement is a main goal of the United Nations Youth-SWAP that seeks to promote people's effective inclusive civic engagement.
The event is being held to showcase inspiring ways in which young people engage in civic, political and social spheres, and will feature two inter-active panels. It will also explore how bringing together young women and men to actively participate in decision-making and public life in an enhanced and inclusive way can positively impact society.
Today, young people, youth organisations, Member State representatives, civil society, media and United Nations entities have come together openly to explore new and emerging issues and approaches to social and political engagement in different parts of the world.
The UN undoubtedly believe that the engagement and participation of youth is essential to achieving sustainable human development. Through this event, they are also aiming to reinforce that more efforts are needed to raise awareness about the importance of youth civic engagement - and its benefits - as often the opportunities for youth to engage politically, economically and socially are 'low or non-existent'.
It is not surprising therefore that a theme has been chosen this year to enable the empowerment of young people so that they can bring a full contribution to society, development and peace.