By Kebba Jeffang
The National Youth Council (NYC) will join the rest of the world to commemorate the International Youth Day (IYD) 2015 on the 12th August with the theme ‘Youth Civic Engagement’. The day is annually observed around the world following a recommendation by the World Conference of ministers responsible for youth held in Lisbon in 1998.
The event, according to the organisers, will be observed in all the regions on different dates and with their various regional sub themes.
During a press briefing at its head office on Monday, August 10, 2015, Hatab Fadera, the Chairperson of the NYC Task Force on IYD celebration, said the importance of the day is that it is a moment for young people across the world to reflect and discuss possible solutions to the challenges facing them. He said globally, youth consist about 50% of the populations and therefore their role in the society is crucial.
Alagi Jarju, NYC Programme Officer, said the focal point on youth selects a theme for the day with input from youth organizations and members of the UN international Agency Network in youth development. He said the day is also commemorated at the UN headquarters in New York. He said the programme encourages young people around the world to organise activities to raise awareness about their situation in their respective countries.
“The National Youth Council as a parent body tasked with the responsibility of promoting the development of young people has over the years celebrated IYD with young people. The day is an important part of our calendar of events as it is celebrated nation-wide with young people taking the lead role,” said Jarju.
The NYC programme officer said the engagement and participation of youth is essential in achieving sustainable human development. He said the opportunities for youth to engage politically, economically and socially are low or non existent in many countries.
He said “more efforts are needed to raise the awareness about the importance of youth civic engagement and its benefits to the individual and to the society, including for sustainable development as well as resilience and well being. The IYD 2015 campaign aims at promoting civic engagement and participation of youths in politics and public life, so that young people can be empowered to bring full contribution to society, development and peace.”
Mr. Jarju added that the objective of the occasion is to celebrate the achievements of young people, creating a platform for them to discuss on the theme and help encourage their participation in civic partners and other issues as they relate to their respective regions, dialogue with policy makers and to increase inter-cultural participation among youths.
However, he said sub topics are developed for the various regions that will be discussed during their nationwide tour. He indicated in the North Bank Region (NBR) the sub topic ‘youths and irregular migration,’ in the Cenrtal River Region (CRR) ‘food security’ in the Upper River Region (URR) on Quality education, Lower River Region (LRR) Sexual Reproductive health, West Coast Region (WCR) ‘Unemployment,’ Kanifing Municipality (KM) on ‘Civic participation on politics and economic development’ and in Banjul, it will be Climate change’.
He said the international theme will also be discussed at the various regions.
Mr. Jarju thanked UNFPA for funding the activities as well as Youth Volunteers in Environment (YVE) for support.
By Kebba Jeffang