Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Message from the Chairperson of the Commonwealth Youth Council on the INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DAY, 12th AUGUST, 2014

As the world commemorates International Youth Day, the Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC) joins others in commemorating this important day. This is a day, when the world will connect and engage in solidarity for young people---to celebrate our achievements and work to address our challenges.

The theme for this year’s international youth day, is on ‘’Mental Health Matters’’, which is very important to us, as it enables us to highlights issues of mental health and call for concrete action in youth development. Given the centrality of securing better health for young people, this day is an opportunity to take action in helping young people deal with issues affecting our mental health. The Commonwealth Youth Development Index (YDI) recommends a standardised data sets for young people with mental health problems. Access to information, creating the enabling environment and availability of improved health and living conditions are vital in tackling mental health problems. It is important for governments to provide preventive interventions and services to support the mental health of young people.

This Day comes at a moment, when the world looks forward to a new development agenda for the next 15 years to replace the Millennium Development Goals. This is a day to echo our call for youth inclusion and development in the post-2015 development agenda. We call on all governments to ensure young people are well represented in the post-2015 development agenda by creating a specific goal on youth inclusion and development, with targets and indicators in all goals. No nation can progress if its young people are trapped in endless circle of poverty, when young people do not have the health care we need, when we cannot read or take a job to be able to survive.

To commemorate this day, we are opening the CYC Secretariat in Sri Lanka, and presenting the CYC Strategic Plan for the next two years. We are very grateful to the young people, Commonwealth member states, Commonwealth Secretariat, and the government of Sri Lanka for hosting the secretariat. The CYC Secretariat will be a centre for empowering and engaging young people in sustainable development work.

We encourage all national youth councils and youth-led organisations, to work together and take action for a better world for young people. On this Day, young people can lead the change we want to see in the world, we can be champions in our communities to promote our issues. This Day is a chance for all of us to shout loudly and together in support of greater empowerment of young people.
Youth and mental health matters: Let us take action, advocate and engage the media in our communities, lobby our governments, organise public meetings and engage our schools and communities to promote the theme of international youth day, and help provide the solution to our problem.

We call on governments and people around the world to support young people. Young people are not just beneficiaries, but important contributors to the world we want---a safe, peaceful and prosperous world for everyone.

We in the CYC will do everything in our means to support the empowerment of young people, and support the participation and inclusion of young people at all levels.

We wish all the young people around the world, a Happy 2014 international Youth Day Commemoration.

Together, let us work for youth empowerment, and promote sustainable development.
Thank you. Ahmed Adamu

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