The Second Lady, Mrs Samira Bawumia addressed the conference
Last Wednesday, August 12, 2020 was observed as International Youth Day on the theme: “Youth Engagement to Global Action”.
The day is commemorated every year to bring issues concerning the youth to the attention of the international community and celebrate the potential of the youth as partners in today’s global society.
It seeks to present an opportunity to celebrate and mainstream young people’s voices, actions and initiatives, as well as their meaningful, universal and equitable engagement.
According to the resolution establishing the day: “The day spotlights the ways in which the voices and activism of young people are making a difference and moving our world closer to the values and vision of the United Nations Charter.”
The day can be traced to December 17, 1999 when the UN General Assembly, in its Resolution 54/120, endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth (Lisbon, August 8 to 12, 1998), which called for August 12, every year to be declared International Youth Day.
Unfortunately, this year’s commemoration was done amidst the COVID-19 pandemic which has brought about severe economic and social impacts around the world, with young people particularly being vulnerable to the disruptions the pandemic has caused.
The Mirror is happy that a number of activities were organised to mark the day globally.
In Ghana, a two-day conference on the theme: “Youth engagement in mitigating the impact of COVID-19: The need for innovation and creativity”, was held in Accra last Wednesday.
We share in the observation made by the Second Lady, Mrs Samira Bawumia, when she addressed the conference, that the issue of youth employment had become very critical in the current social, economic and political dispensation across the globe.
The paper also agrees with her that the situation had been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, necessitating the need for the youth to strategise and adopt innovative ways of meeting the country’s growing needs.
We are also happy that the government had rolled out measures to battle the situation.
The paper is happy that five Ghanaians who were sponsored to be trained in advanced welding technology in Canada under the Accelerated Oil and Gas Capacity-building programme (AOGC), have completed their programme and are back in the country.
The Mirror would like to celebrate these young people who have just been exposed to approved global practices in the field of welding and are ready to help build the necessary human resource for the development of the upstream oil and gas sector in the country.
We share the view expressed by the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, in a message to mark the day, that this year’s Youth Day was marked as the lives and aspirations of young people continued to be upended by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Mirror regrets that some have lost their lives, and many more have seen family members and other loved ones perish.
The paper also agrees with Mr Guterres that the vulnerabilities of young refugees, displaced persons, young women and girls and others caught up in conflict or disaster had grown more acute.
We are happy that this generation is resilient, resourceful and engaged and have risen up to demand climate action, while also serving on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response, mobilising for racial justice and gender equality and are the champions of a more sustainable world.
The paper agrees that the devastating effects of the COVID-19 and the effects that it has, particularly on the youth, demand that governments all over should intensify efforts to ensure that decisions or actions taken really protect and benefit the youth and do not place them at a disadvantage.
We support the view that we should acknowledge the amazing contributions young people are making to improve the world, and commit to empowering them to create change at the local, national and global levels.
We share in the suggestion that more investment needs to be made for young people’s inclusion, participation, organisation and initiatives.
The Mirror also adds its voice to the call on leaders and adults everywhere to do everything possible to enable the world’s youth to enjoy lives of safety, dignity and opportunity and contribute to the fullest of their great potential.