PYD on International Youth Day

In 1999,in its resolution 54/120,the General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Minister's responsible for

youth(Lisborn,8-12 August 1998) that 12 August be declared International Youth Day. The Assembly recommended that Public information activities be organised to support the Day as a way to promote better awareness of the World programme of Action for Youth adopted by the General Assembly in 1995

Platform for Youth Development Trust (PYD) joins the international community in commemorating the International Youth Day. The International Youth Day in Zimbabwe coincides with the Heroes Day celebrations. The Heroes day is a remembrance of bravery, dedication and vigilance by our fallen heroes and heroines who sacrificed their lives during the colonial struggle that gave birth to the Independent Zimbabwe we now enjoy. As we commemorate the 32nd Heroes day, Zimbabweans are urged to give this day its proper meaning.

Apparently, most of the celebrated heroes were youth when they joined the armed struggle. This is clear testimony on the importance of youth and age.

As we commemorate these two events, we urge the young people to show responsibility by increasing interest in the social, economic and political welfare of the country.

Whilst we call the young people to be ambassadors and pacesetters of socio-political and economic change, we are acquainted with the impediments affecting the youth of today. Many governments at international scale and particularly in Africa have failed to practically work in favour of transforming the situation of youth.

Surprisingly, most of these government personalities want to live in the past, where they were youth, but closes opportunities for the current youths to do the same. It is such double standards that these two events must seek to expose.

PYD condemns the agitation by some quarters of the society who are out to particularise the Heroes day as a political party event where others are labelled sell-outs as a scheme to discriminate and exclude them. This trivialisation of national interests for selfish and parochial gains must not be tolerated in Zimbabwe. Heroes' day must be that opportunity where the nation speaks with one voice despite political party ideologies. It is a day to give dignity to the fallen heroes and heroines by remaining focused and glued to the purpose of the liberation struggle. It is a time to take stock and check the balance sheet of our successes and failures as a nation.

As we commemorate this year's International Youth day whose theme is Building a Better World Partnering with the Youth, Young people must seize these occasions to stand tall and demand life changing spaces and platforms as opposed to clapping hands at rhetorical statements made by political players across the globe. Governments must facilitate and open spaces for young people to overcome challenges of unemployment, political violence, sexual and reproductive health (HIV/AIDS), education, citizenship and entrepreneurship.

PYD urges Zimbabwean and African youths to get organised and take advantage of age and numbers to invest in the future as game changers.

The International Youth Day should remain special, with responsible governments capacitating the youths to raise awareness and identify with their aspirations and motivations. Governments and political players should be reminded that when youths are empowered, a nation is guaranteed of peace, stability and progress.

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