TODAY -

Youth Day focuses on poverty eradication

Ranjan K Baruah *



There are different definitions of youth in different countries. Earlier a young people up to the age of 35 was called as youth in India according to national youth Policy but new youth policy of has bought the age to 15-29 . In international perspectives some organisation says that any young people in the age of 15 to 24 are youth but some also says that young people up to the age of 30 is youth. This age differs but more or less we may think that someone up to the age of 30 may be considered as youth.

Sustainable consumption and production is about promoting resource and energy efficiency, sustainable infrastructure, and providing access to basic services, green and decent jobs and a better quality of life for all. Its implementation helps to achieve overall development plans, reduce future economic, environmental and social costs, strengthen economic competitiveness and reduce poverty.

Each year, an estimated one third of all food produced – equivalent to 1.3 billion tones worth around $1 trillion – ends up rotting in the bins of consumers and retailers, or spoiling due to poor transportation and harvesting practices. If people worldwide switched to energy efficient light bulbs the world would save US$120 billion annually.

Are we aware that if the global population reaches 9.6 billion by 2050, the equivalent of almost three planets could be required to provide the natural resources needed to sustain current lifestyles?

When we look at water we could find that less than 3 per cent of the world’s water is fresh (drinkable), of which 2.5 per cent is frozen in the Antarctica, Arctic and glaciers. Humanity must therefore rely on 0.5 per cent for all of man’s ecosystems and fresh water needs.

While substantial environmental impacts from food occur in the production phase (agriculture, food processing), households influence these impacts through their dietary choices and habits. This consequently affects the environment through food-related energy consumption and waste generation. 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted every year while almost 1 billion people go undernourished and another 1 billion hungry.

Now, the question is who would take up responsibility for sustainable consumption and production. This year young generation is looked as people who could bring some positive changes. International Youth day is observed around the world on 12th August.

The theme of the 2016 International Youth Day is “The Road to 2030: Eradicating Poverty and Achieving Sustainable Consumption and Production”. This year’s Day is about achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It focuses on the leading role of young people in ensuring poverty eradication and achieving sustainable development through sustainable consumption and production.

In 1985, the UN celebrated the first International Year of Youth. On its 10th anniversary, the General Assembly adopted the World Programme of Action for Youth, setting a policy framework and guidelines for national action and international support to improve the situation of young people.

On 17 December 1999, in its resolution 54/120, the United Nations General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth (Lisbon, 8-12 August 1998) that 12 August be declared International Youth Day. Secretary General of United Nations on his message said that “the world’s young people – who make up the largest generation of youth in history – can lead a global drive to break the patterns of the past and set the world on course to a more sustainable future.

Young people are directly affected by the tragic contradictions that prevail today: between abject poverty and ostentatious wealth, gnawing hunger and shameful food waste, rich natural resources and polluting industries. Youth can deliver solutions on these issues, which lie at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

On International Youth Day, Secretary General of UN has urged others to join this global push for progress. Let us empower young people with the resources, backing and space they need to create lasting change in our world.

Message from Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, states that “ young people are not only our future — they are our present. Our planet has never been so young, with 1.8 billion young women and men. They are the most connected, the most outspoken and the most open-minded generation the world has ever seen” .

She has called upon all Member States and UNESCO partners to support their initiatives, to give them voice, to let them grow. She also stated that youths are powerful agents of positive change, essential to taking forward the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

It is the responsibility of young people to take part in eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable development. One of the best practice youth can do is practising sustainable consumption all though sustainable production is not at the hand of young people. Young people may switch to sustainable lifestyle minimum resources are utilised.

Together we can make a difference and as this year’s theme is focused on eradicating poverty with achieving sustainable consumption and production , let us all pledge that we shall strive to work for achieving sustainable development for us and for the future generation . We must remember that we do not have any other planet to live in.


* Ranjan K Baruah wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is a recipient of National Youth Awardee and feedback may be sent to bkranjan(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was posted on August 15 , 2016.


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