Around the world today, more and more societies are recognizing the role that youth play as agents of change and as critical actors in preventing conflict and building peace. Many of the world’s 1.2 billion young people, are also affected by the horrors of conflict and war. It is against this backdrop that the International Youth Day this year will be celebrated under the theme “Youth Building Peace”, considering matters of youth, peace and security from a social developmental perspective.
This year’s theme also supports the recent work and commitments in the field of youth, peace and security by Member States, United Nations entities, youth and youth-led organizations.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres has also emphasized that sustaining peace and preventing conflict is a crucial part of his work and he has moreover recognized the capabilities of youth to defend human rights, secure sustainable development and build peaceful societies.
The theme is particularly relevant given that many of those affected by conflict are often young people. The realization that lasting peace cannot be built without both adequate protection of youth, as well as their engagement as stakeholders, provided impetus for the youth, peace and security agenda in recent years.