International Youth Day Message from the Pan-Commonwealth Youth Caucus.August 12th, 2011
This year as we mark International Youth Day under the theme “Change our world”. The Pan Commonwealth Youth Caucus joins the rest of the world in celebrating and acknowledging the role of young people in making our global community a better place.
This year’s International Youth Day represents the culmination of the International year of the youth (IYY) designated by the United Nations to comprise the 12 month period between International Youth Day 2010 and International Youth Day 2011 and the 25th Anniversary of the first International Year of Youth.
The theme “Change Our World” not only expresses the level of impact that young people strive to achieve, but also reflects the notion of a global community. This is a call to inspire youth initiatives at all levels with the idea that efforts at the local level can have a global impact.
We make up over 60% of the World’s population. In the Commonwealth that’s over one billion people. As young people, we believe in change that leads to better more sustainable outcomes. We are the inheritors of the actions of those who have come before and are the innovators who can rectify the consequences of poor decisions and bad policies. This theme is important to us; because we want to see real change not just more statements and messages but actions, implementation. We want to see meaningful youth engagement and active demonstration of consistent youth involvement in decision making processes.
The Pan-Commonwealth Youth Caucus calls on decision makers in all Commonwealth countries to accept the challenge of changing our world by investing in young people.
As young people, we must realize that we are the ones who will be affected by today‘s decisions. It is our creative ideas and voices that will shape the future; we are young, active, and full of energy, we embrace challenges and are open to new and different experiences. With our desire for positive change we have the ability to move beyond geography and time restrictions and are undoubtedly the dynamic group of people that are the primary enablers of social change.
We are confident that we can learn from yesterday, challenge today‘s world and build a better tomorrow. Therefore, while the support of the private sector, governments and civil society organisations is important, what’s most necessary is that we young people get actively involved. So get started with the simplest things, bring change to your home, and go outside plant a tree. Join a youth group, communities or go on facebook, get connected with the world.
As we celebrate the theme “change our world”, let us seek solutions to unlock young people’s potential, energy, imagination and initiatives that should drive their crucial contributions to bring change. We encourage stakeholders to acknowledge the theme this year and work together to ensure that policies and processes are in place to continue investments in youth, to increase youth participation and partnerships, and to increase intercultural understanding among youth. We would like to see the objectives of the International Year of Youth continue into this year as well. We, the young people need governments, private sector businesses, youth serving and civil society organizations and other stakeholders to work with us in our drive to develop a sustainable future. Youth need to be included at all levels of decision making to ensure that their needs are properly met. This will benefit us all.
On this International Youth Day, we commit ourselves, as a Caucus of youth advocates and youth leaders from national youth councils and bodies, to believing in generations beyond our own and to take action now to ensure the world is a better place. The world needs youths, our ideas and our voice, the difference between the world of today and our world tomorrow rests with us, the young people. Let us work to make this time long remembered in the history of the Commonwealth and the whole world.
We call on decision makers to recognize and engage with young people to make positive change.
“Let us be the change we want to see”