International Youth Day: History, Top Quotes, and Must-Read Books

international youth day

International Youth Day, observed annually on August 12th, is a global celebration that acknowledges the vital role that young people play in shaping our world’s future. This day serves as a platform to raise awareness about the unique challenges faced by youth and to promote their engagement in socio-economic, cultural, and political processes.

The History

The United Nations designated August 12th as International Youth Day in 1999. This day was established to commemorate the first United Nations World Youth Forum held in Portugal in 1985, where the World Programme of Action for Youth was adopted, setting out a policy framework and guidelines for national action and international support to improve the situation of young people worldwide.

Historical Thematic Timeline

The provided chart displays the evolving themes of International Youth Day spanning from 2001 to 2023. Each year, this global observance is marked by a distinct theme, reflecting the dynamic focus on youth-related matters.

themes of International Youth Day

International Youth Day 2023: Green Skills for Youth Towards a Sustainable World

international youth day

Green skills, encompassing “knowledge, abilities, values, and attitudes needed to live in, develop, and support a sustainable and resource-efficient society,” hold the key to this transition. These skills include technical expertise, enabling the effective use of green technologies and processes in various occupations, as well as transversal skills, drawing on a wide spectrum of knowledge, values, and attitudes to foster environmentally conscious decisions in both work and daily life.

The objective of International Youth Day 2023

The 2023 edition will center on the importance of green skills for young individuals, showcasing both global and national initiatives. It will address the opportunities and challenges related to this topic while providing forward-looking policy recommendations.

The key objectives for International Youth Day in 2023 include:

  • Raising awareness about green skills and their crucial role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a specific emphasis on the active involvement of young people in the transition to environmentally friendly practices.
  • Equipping stakeholders with comprehensive knowledge about the significance of green skills for the youth demographic.
  • Highlighting policies and practices that foster the growth of green skills among young individuals.
  • Establishing an inclusive platform for stakeholders to engage in meaningful discussions on these matters.

Best 7 Ways to Celebrate International Youth Day 2023

International youth day
  • Raising Awareness: Organize campaigns in schools, workplaces, and communities to emphasize youth’s role in shaping the future, using social media, posters, and discussions.
  • Skill Workshops: Arrange sessions on sustainability, leadership, entrepreneurship, and green technologies, encouraging youth participation.
  • Youth Forums: Host discussions where young individuals share views on climate, education, social justice, and employment.
  • Community Service: Involve youth in positive projects like tree planting, cleaning public spaces, and local initiatives.
  • Art & Creativity: Hold talent shows, creative contests, and exhibitions for young artists, promoting their voices.
  • Networking: Create events linking youth with mentors, professionals, and leaders from diverse fields.
  • Education Seminars: Offer seminars on relevant youth topics like education, career, mental health, and personal development.
  • Remember, it’s about empowering youth, fostering unity, and recognizing their achievements, making International Youth Day a step toward a better future.

Top 10 Inspiring Quotes on International Youth Day

International Youth Day

Following quotes serve as powerful reminders of the potential and significance of young individuals in shaping a better future for our world.

  • “The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow.” – Nelson Mandela
  • “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
  • “Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind.” – Samuel Ullman
  • “The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it.” – John F. Kennedy
  • “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” – Harriet Tubman
  • “The world is yours to shape. Go out there and create a life that you love.” – Oprah Winfrey
  • “The power of youth is the common wealth for the entire world. The faces of young people are the faces of our past, our present, and our future.” – Pope Francis
  • “You are never too young to lead, and you should never doubt your capacity to triumph where others have not.” – Michelle Obama
  • “Young people should be at the forefront of global change and innovation. Empowered, they can be key agents for development and peace.” – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
  • “Don’t just aspire to make a living; aspire to make a difference.” – Denzel Washington

10 Amazing Books you can Gift or Read on International Youth Day

international youth day

These ten inspiring and thought-provoking books would make great gifts on International Youth Day:

You may also explore exciting gifts for tech-savvy and adventure-loving youths on


On International Youth Day, we celebrate the incredible potential of young individuals worldwide. Through empowering literature, inspiring quotes, and impactful activities, we encourage their growth, creativity, and leadership. By fostering awareness, skill development, and fostering connections, we lay the foundation for a brighter, more inclusive future. This day is a reminder to invest in the dreams and aspirations of our youth, guiding them toward meaningful contributions and a world where their voices and actions drive positive change across generations.


What is International Youth Day?

International Youth Day is an annual observance designated by the United Nations to celebrate the contributions of young people worldwide and to promote their engagement in social, economic, and political spheres.

When it is celebrated?

International Youth Day is celebrated every year on August 12th, providing a platform to raise awareness about youth issues and highlight the importance of empowering the younger generation.

Why is International Youth Day important?

IYD acknowledges the significant role young individuals play in shaping the future. It provides an opportunity to focus on youth-related challenges, and achievements, and to promote youth empowerment, inclusion, and participation.

How can I get involved in International Youth Day activities?

You can participate in International Youth Day activities by attending local events, volunteering for youth-focused organizations, sharing inspirational messages on social media, or organizing discussions and workshops that highlight the importance of youth engagement and development.

What is the theme of International Youth Day this year?

The 2023 edition of International Youth Day will focus on green skills for youth, highlighting initiatives at the global and national levels, discussing relevant opportunities and challenges, and offering forward looking policy guidance.

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