More 1,000 young people from different cities gathered in Dhaka on Saturday, pledging unity to promote inclusiveness and tolerance through art, music, joyful games and attractions.
In the event styled “SDG Youth Carnival” held at Krishibid Institute, they discussed with policymakers their active role in development initiatives.
“The youth are in need of positive support from everyone as a whole in order to grow as successful, peaceful, patient and humble beings that can achieve world peace someday,” said Tabassuma Dhara, one of the participants.
The event was organised by UNDP, UN Volunteers (UNV) and Radio Shahdin with participation of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), to mark 12 August as the International Youth Day.
The day’s global theme this year was “Youth Building Peace”.
“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,” Sudipto Mukerjee, UNDP country director told the event.
Bangladesh has over 50 million or 40 per cent people between the ages 15-35 - distribution which is widely considered as demographic dividend.
“This number of young and perspective people have massive potential to contribute as partners and leaders in development, innovation, and social change,” the UN official said.
On the occasion, UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres has said youths can play a 'critical role' in creating a peaceful world for the generations to come.
"Together, we can create a peaceful world for the generations to come," he said in a video message.
The day’s programe in Dhaka focussed on the contribution young people provide in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Agenda 2030.
In the SDG-dedicated café session, the youths discussed their role in development with representatives of the youth and sports ministry and the UN senior managers. Secretary in charge of the ministry Md. Ashadul Islam was present.
The café was designed to facilitate intergenerational dialogue, to to explore and promote a broader agenda for youth expertise deployment in creating a better Bangladesh.
Youthopia.bangla, an online platform and offline community initiated by UNDP and UN Volunteers, was promoted throughout the day. It has gathered over 60 youth organisations while the number of members is on rise.