International Youth day 2021: “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health” | Hamro Patro

ब्लग - साहित्य / नेपाली चाडपर्व तथा विशेष दिनहरू

International Youth day 2021: “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health”

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The economic impact of COVID-19 is set to make the job market more challenging for youth. The ILO reports that in the first quarter of 2020, about 5.4% of global working hours, which is equivalent to 155 million full-time jobs, were lost relative to the fourth quarter of 2019.

Recent estimates suggest that 600 million jobs would have to be created over the next 15 years to meet youth employment needs.

The proportion of young people not in employment, education, or training (the youth NEET rate) has remained stubbornly high over the past 15 years and now stands at 30% for young women and 13% for young men worldwide.

The globe and its young population are coping with the adversities created by COVID-19, the year 2021 is not any different.

During the 2021 ECOSOC Youth Forum (EYF), the issues and priorities highlighted by young participants included the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly related to its effect on human health, the environment, and food systems. As part of the official outcome recommendations of the EYF, young participants stressed the importance of working towards more equitable food systems. In addition, they highlighted the need for youth to make informed decisions on food choices through increasing global education on the healthiest and most sustainable options for both individuals and the environment. There were also recommendations on providing adequate capacity development concerning the resilience of food systems, in particular during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and in its aftermath. Food systems include not only the basic elements of how we get food from farms to the table, but also all of the processes and infrastructure involved in feeding a population, and the negative externalities that can be generated during the process, such as air and ocean pollution as well as desertification. There is also the risk of zoonotic diseases that can result from unsustainable farming practices and the climate crisis. Population health is also key in addressing food systems challenges, especially as nutrition-related chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some forms of cancer are major contributors to the global burden of disease.

In this context, the importance and solidarity for international youth day have increased. The theme of International Youth Day 2020, “Youth Engagement for Global Action” seeks to highlight how 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 UN turns 76, and with only 9 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 (examples include some of the worst contemporary conflicts and humanitarian emergencies, such as Syria and Myanmar, as well as global challenges, such as the COVID outbreak and climate change).

This year, as in other years, International Youth Day is being celebrated all over the world by organizing various programs. International Youth Day is celebrated around the world every year to show the importance of the role of youth in the development of individuals, families, communities, nations, and the world. This day also highlights innovative ways to make youth participation more active and possible change to move the international community in a positive direction.

In Nepal too, various programs are being held and it is customary to submit memorandums and declarations to the Ministry and the Prime Minister's Office. The youth needs to be aware and diligent in taking their demands and needs to the government and stakeholders. On the other hand, for the sake of good governance, transparency, and rule of law, the vigilance of the youth is always necessary. Due to this, the role of the youth who are the carriers of change is eternal, the responsibility of the fateful change and development is on the efficient shoulders of the Nepali youth.

Suyog Dhakal

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