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August 12 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. It is also an opportunity to raise awareness of the challenges and hardships facing the world’s youth. 

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. अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय युवा दिवसको नारा 'विश्व अभियानका लागि युवा सहभागिता: रोजगारी प्रवर्द्धन र वातावरण संरक्षणमा युवा संलग्नता' रहेको छ । 

Young people are powerful agents of change and progress when they are educated and empowered to participate in decision-making. Yet around the world, too many youth are being left behind. They receive a substandard education, or no education at all, and find a few decent employment opportunities. They struggle to access basic sexual and reproductive health information and services. Without these tools, young people – young women, in particular – find themselves grappling with poverty, early pregnancy, disease and other challenges.

UNFPA advocates for the rights of young people, including their right to accurate information and services related to sexual and reproductive health and their right to play a role in decisions affecting them. UNFPA's vision is to create a world where every young person can make their own choices and enjoy their rights.

In Nepal, UNFPA is working to ensure every adolescent and youth, in particular adolescent girls, is empowered to have access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, in all contexts. The specific needs of young people in the country, particularly adolescents, tend to be neglected as they transition from childhood to young adults. Moreover, discriminatory gender and socio-cultural norms existing across Nepal are inclined to under-value girls and do not recognize the positive contributions they can make to society and economic growth if provided with the same opportunities as boys. Significant and targeted investments in youth are required for Nepal to reap the benefit of the demographic dividend. 

The aim of International Youth Day 2020 is to shed light on the need to enable the engagement of youth by making local, national and global institutions more inclusive for the purpose of strengthening their capacity (and relevance) to achieve global action. 

The day this year’s seeks to put the spotlight on youth engagement through the following three interconnected streams:

1. Engagement at the local/community level;
2. Engagement at the national level (formulation of laws, policies, and their implementation); and,
3. Engagement at the global level.

UNFPA is collaborating with the Government of Nepal and partners, including the National Youth Council and youth-led organizations and networks, to this end.