Dhaka, Thursday, August 24, 2017

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Young people strengthen commitment to achieve SDGs

DHAKA, Aug 12, 2017 (BSS) - At the moment, statistics show that approximately over 50 million people in Bangladesh are between the ages 15-35, which is around 40 per cent of the total population, an official of UNDP Bangladesh told a function here today.

"This number of young and perspective people have massive potential to contribute as partners and leaders in development, innovation, and social change," said Sudipto Mukerjee, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Bangladesh Country Director, during the celebration of the International Youth Day in Krishibid Institute in the city, a press release said.

Over 1,000 young people from Dhaka and other cities, gathered today to mark 12 August as the International Youth Day, which is widely celebrated in most of the countries throughout the world.

Throughout the day in several formal and informal sessions, within the "SDG Youth Carnival", young people of Bangladesh discussed with policy makers their active role in development initiatives and the contribution young people provide in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Agenda 2030.

The event was organized by UNDP, UN Volunteers (UNV) and Radio Shahdin with participation of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Secretary- in-charge of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Md. Ashadul Islam, stressed that the values the power of young minds, and supports and encourages involvement of young people and their innovative ideas in the development process.

"The government recently adopted national youth policy, and have taken initiative to translate the policy into action. However, to prepare a proper action plan, we will require resources," he added.

This year's theme of the International Youth Day globally was "Youth Building Peace". Issues like growing inequalities globally, extreme poverty, gender and minorities isolation or limited access to social mobility and development opportunities, and unpredictable socio-economic environments at local and national levels, all contribute to the rise of violence in its many forms and manifestations.

The young people today in Dhaka highlighted and encouraged peace in our society, and stood united to promote inclusiveness and tolerance through art, music, joyful games and attractions.

During the informal SDGs-dedicated caf, session, young people discussed their role in sustainable development with representatives of the Ministry of Youth and Sports and United Nations (UN) senior managers. The caf, was designed to facilitate intergenerational dialogue, to raise awareness about peace building and SDGs, and to explore and promote a broader agenda for youth expertise deployment in creating a better Bangladesh.

"It is refreshing to see in my country such an event that supports the youth, because the youth is in need of positive support from everyone as a whole in order to grow into successful, peaceful, patient and humble beings that can achieve world peace someday," said Tabassuma Dhara, one of the participants at the event.

"Youth are the future but also the present, and we need to think about the youth as an asset not only tomorrow, but also today," said Sudipto Mukerjee.

Youthopia.bangla, as the largest youth network in Bangladesh and a platform where the young minds of today can be a part of the big community was also promoted throughout the day. This online platform and offline community, initiated earlier this year by UNPD and UN Volunteers, gathers over 60 youth organisations for now, while the number of new members is growing continuously.