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IYD: UN Chief wants youth to be equipped with skills for greener future

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As the world marks the 2023 International Youth Day, the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), Antonio Guterres, has emphasized the need for young people to be equipped with skills and knowledge to shape a cleaner, greener and more climate resilient future.

He said these skills range from innovative sustainable technologies and renewable energy, to revolutions in transportation systems and industrial activity.

This was contained in a message he released to mark this year’s International Youth Day (IYD). The IYD is marked yearly on August 12 and the theme for the 2023 celebration is “Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World.”

According to Gutteres, humanity depends on the boundless energy, ideas and contributions of youth everywhere.

“Every year, International Youth Day celebrates the determination, ideas and leadership of young people as we pursue a better world.

“Across all of today’s challenges, young people are calling for bold and accelerated action, standing in solidarity with the most vulnerable, and designing solutions to ensure social, economic and climate justice, and peace and prosperity for all.”

Guterres said to expand youth participation, he recently launched a policy brief calling for governments to make their participation the norm, rather than the exception, across decisions and policies around the world.

This year’s theme reminds us of the importance of ensuring young people gain and apply skills in the burgeoning green economy.

“Today and every day, let’s support and stand with young people in shaping a just and sustainable world, for people and planet,” Gutteres said.

Also, the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake, in her message said young people had become a driving force for societal change through social mobilisation, pushing climate action, seeking racial justice and promoting gender equality.

According to her, transformative changes will not be possible as required without the valid contributions of a wide range of actors.

“From their unwavering optimism, to their innovative solutions, to their demonstrated perseverance in the face of adversity, young people remind us that there is still time to get the world back on track to achieve the SDGs.

“This is exactly the type of reminder our world needs most right now.

“Let us recommit to our collective vision of a more peaceful, sustainable, just and equal world in which all young people everywhere are supported, empowered, engaged and equipped to fulfill their potential,” she said.


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