Secretary-General’s message on International Youth Day 2021

SRSG Elizabeth Spehar with the Youth Champions for Environment and Peace. September 2020 Photo: UNFICYP/Maria Homolyova

12 Aug 2021

Secretary-General’s message on International Youth Day 2021

Young people are on the frontlines of the struggle to build a better future for all. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the dire need for the kind of transformational change they seek – and young people must be full partners in that effort.

This year’s International Youth Day highlights solutions developed by young innovators to address challenges to our food systems. They are tackling inequities in food security, biodiversity loss, threats to our environment and much more.

We see that same drive, creativity, and commitment in many other areas – from gender equality to education and skills development.

But young people cannot do it on their own.  They need allies to make sure they are engaged, included and understood.

Guided by the United Nations system-wide Youth Strategy, Youth2030, the UN is strengthening its work for and with young people worldwide.

I urge everyone to guarantee young people a seat at the table as we build a world based on inclusive, fair, and sustainable development for all.

Thank you.