The theme of the International Youth Day 2022 should remind all stakeholders to support youth solidarity in creating a peaceful and just society where development will strive, considering the challenges facing the youths.
It couldn’t be more apt as there is no better time than now to seek intergenerational solidarity with relevant stakeholders at all levels to contribute their quota to youth social development where young people make up a greater percentage of the world population.
Yet (the youths) do not have a reasonable representation in government or platforms where they can contribute to policy-making and the overall development of Nigeria and Africa.
The enormous contributions and commitment to the realization of United Nations agenda 2030, AU Agenda 2063, and the continual push and demand for sustainable development in the world by the youths can never be overemphasized.
This year (and the previous year) has been a very challenging year and young people around the world have been leading in Championing Peacebuilding and sustainable development as well as demanding a better society.
Many young people are risking their lives while leading action on peace and security with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic that disrupted the normal way of life and negatively impacted the well-being of the youth.
The fact that government and the UN cannot continue to say they want to solve the problems and yet continually exclude the main people who make up the greater percentage affected by those problems should be a concern and issue to look into.
The youths want better job opportunities, a good education, access to affordable quality health care, responsive and accountable governments, and increased efforts to tackle corruption. This year’s theme should remind all stakeholders to support youth solidarity in creating a peaceful and just society where development will strive.
With over 60% of Nigeria’s population consisting of the youth unemployment, strike action, and insecurity has become the biggest challenge facing Nigeria and the youths have played a critical role in mobilizing, advocating, and creating sustainable solutions to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges.
Also, over the years, youths have initiated programs and led initiatives that have made a significant impact on society. International Youth Day 2022 should remind all stakeholders to be in solidarity with the youth and support youth-led and focused initiatives as well as recognize the critical role and contributions of young people in the sustenance of Peace and Development in society.
To the youths all over the world 2022 International Youth Day celebrations today is yet another day for you to remind yourselves of the need to continue to champion a better society while building resilience for sustainable peace and development.
Happy International Youth Day
CENTER for Peace Advocacy and Sustainable Development (CEPASD)
and President Youth Model African Union Summit