12 August was designated as International Youth Day by the UN General Assembly in 1999. It is an annual celebration of the role of young women and men as essential partners in promoting human rights and development and to raise awareness about their challenges and hardships.

Young people are powerful agents of change and progress when they are educated and empowered to participate in decision-making. This year’s theme of International Youth Day 2019 was “Transforming education”, highlights efforts to make education more relevant, equitable and inclusive for the youth, including efforts by youth themselves. Rooted in Goal 4 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”

International Youth Day 2019 examined how Governments, young people and youth-led and youth-focused organizations, as well as other stakeholders, are transforming education and how these efforts are contributing to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

This event also celebrated young people’s energy, passion, creativity, and potential by providing them with a forum to express themselves. In light of this year’s theme, the event highlighted good practices and lessons learned in the efforts undertaken to ensure that education is relevant, equitable and inclusive for all youth. Educators, Government officials, and civil society partners were invited to share their work and to sketch out the road ahead for the various stakeholders engaged in this endeavor.