More than 200 young people from around the world held a celebration today at United Nations headquarters in New York, kicking off a series of UN events to mark International Youth Day this year.
Youth groups from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the United States showcased their contributions to society, and spoke about their efforts to make the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – a series of targets to slash a host of social and economic ills by 2015 – a reality.
They also gave presentations on how they are utilizing the Internet to take action in local and global communities as well as on the importance of young people’s participation in shaping the world they are to inherit.
The celebrations also included performances from youth performing gymnastics, circus art routines, step dances and poetry.
The photographs by the winners of the Shoot Nations International Photo Competition – which asked young people to document what matters to them and how to make a difference – were put on display in a specially made light-box art installation.
International Youth Day is celebrated every year on 12 August, providing an opportunity to recognize the world’s 1.2 billion young people, to celebrate their achievements and to push for their participation in all areas of society and development. This year’s theme is “Be seen, be heard: youth participation for development.”