UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office participated in the celebration of the “International Youth Day”, organized by the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO, in cooperation with the Ministry of Sport and Youth, the Abbass Abad Recreational Complex and the Youth Organization of the Iranian Red Crescent Society, which took place in the evening of 18 August 2019 at the Abbass Abad Recreational Complex.
A number of Iranian officials, including the Sectary General of the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO, Dr. Ayoubi, the Deputy of the Ministry of Sport and Youth, Mr. Mohammad Mehdi Tond Guyang, the spokesperson of the Iranian government, Mr. Ali Rabiei and the Officer in Charge of Youth Organization of the Iranian Red Crescent Society, Mr. Ali Ganj, along with a representative of Youth NGOs, have participated and delivered speeches in the celebration.
This year’s theme of the International Youth Day is Transforming Education. The theme highlights the efforts to make education more inclusive and accessible for all youth, including efforts by youth themselves. Rooted in Goal 4 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” – the International Youth Day 2019 examined how governments, young people and youth-led and youth-focused organizations, as well as other stakeholders, are transforming education so that it becomes a powerful tool to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The ceremony started with a live traditional Kurdish music performance and a welcome speech given by Mr. Hejazi, the head of Park’s Renovation Company.
Mr. Cvetan Cvetkovski, Officer-in-Charge of the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office delivered a speech at the celebration. In his statement he reiterated the important social role played by youth and UNESCO’s longstanding commitment to involve youth in its programmes: “Youth have always been a major focus in UNESCO’s programmes. Youth is among the key actors and partners in UNESCO’s mission to ‘contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue’. Since its creation UNESCO has been the first agency of the United Nations to develop specific programmes for young people. UNESCO’s longstanding commitment to youth has taken a new impetus with the UNESCO Strategy for Action with and for Youth in 1998, when youth was recognized as a priority group for the Organisation’s action. Until today, under the UNESCO’s framework of youth programme, UNESCO has launched and promoted a variety of actions regarding youth and its development. The common spirit of these actions is that they are ‘By Youth, With Youth and For Youth.’”
The celebration of the International Youth Day highlighted the efforts of improving the inclusive education that has been made by the Iranian government and called upon the whole society to draw more attention on the issue of inclusive education and to endeavor to confront the new challenges we are facing nowadays: It was emphasized that the ever-changing nature of our society, constantly exposes us to new challenges that never existed before. Our longstanding commitment remains clear and firm: we should ‘leave no one behind’ in the area of education. Today, on the occasion of the celebration of the International Youth Day, we could draw more attention from the whole Iranian society to the issue of youth development and specifically, to the theme of transforming education. To achieve this goal, UNESCO and other parties alike, should spare no effort to join their forces and work hand in hand in building up more relevant, more equitable and more inclusive education for our next generation.
In addition to the speeches, a series of side events have also been held during the celebration, including traditional Iranian music performance and a presentation of charity actions to improve the treatment of cancer.