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International Youth Day (IYD) is an opportunity to celebrate and mainstream young peoples’ voices, actions and initiatives, as well as their meaningful, universal and equitable engagement.  For Mongolia, it is particularly important because the youth are one-third of the entire population. If the right investment is made and youth are actively engaged, Mongolia has the potential to drive economic development, positive social change, environmental sustainability, and technological innovation.

The theme of International Youth Day 2020, “Youth Engagement for Global Action” seeks to highlight the ways in which the engagement of young people at the local, national and global levels is enriching national and multilateral institutions and processes, as well as draw lessons on how their representation and engagement in formal institutional politics can be significantly enhanced.

As the United Nations turns 75, and with only 10 years remaining to make the 2030 Agenda a reality for all, trust in public institutions is eroding. At the international level, against the backdrop of an increasingly polarized world, the international system of governance is currently undergoing a crisis of legitimacy and relevance. In particular, this crisis is rooted in the need to strengthen the capacity of the international system to act in concert and implement solutions to pressing challenges and threats including emerging technological risks, backsliding democracies, shrinkage of civic space and crisis of governance, as well as global challenges, such as the COVID-19 outbreak and climate change.

Enabling the engagement of youth in formal political mechanisms increases the fairness of political processes by reducing democratic deficits, contributes to better and more sustainable policies, and also is important to restore trust in public institutions, especially among youth. Moreover, the vast majority of challenges humanity currently faces, such as the COVID-19 outbreak and climate change require concerted global action and the meaningful engagement and participation of young people to be addressed effectively.

In Mongolia, the UN Youth Advisory Panel (UNYAP) has been engaged in supporting the activities of the UN and is also playing a very active role in the UN75 initiative. We look forward to working with UNYAP and all the youth in Mongolia to enable inclusive and sustainable development for all Mongolians, leaving no one behind and leveraging the potential of youth to usher in transformative change.

United Nations Mongolia, through all our agencies, remains committed to help young people realize their full potential in life, participate in the development of Mongolia and ensure their rights are protected and their needs, aspirations and ideals are at the core of our work as enshrined in United Nation’s Youth2030 Strategy as well as the Youth Development Programme approved by the Government of Mongolia in 2018.

Please do join #31DaysOfYOUth, a social media campaign that celebrates young people throughout the month of August to help spread the word and strike up a conversation surrounding youth engagement for global action!