August 12th is going to be celebrated as International Youth Day around the world. The day was endorsed by United Nations General Assembly on December 17, 1999, by accepting the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth (Lisbon, 8-12 August 1998) that 12 August be declared International Youth Day.
Different countries are going to be a part of day in their own ways and discuss and highlight the issues of the youngsters and even appreciate their achievements. This year’s theme for the day is “The Road to 2030: Eradicating Poverty and Achieving Sustainable Consumption and Production”. This year’s Day is about achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It focuses on the leading role of young people in ensuring poverty eradication and achieving sustainable development through sustainable consumption and production. Sustainable consumption entails the use of products and services that meet the basic needs of communities while safeguarding the needs of future generations. The development and promotion of individual choices and actions that increase the eco-efficiency of consumption of all and minimize waste and pollution is critical to achieving equitable socioeconomic development.
Young people form one of the most important strata of the society. The condition of the young people within a country basically predicts the future of the nation. If youngsters within a society are properly educated, have required skills and are properly compensated within the social and economic lives, the prosperous future of the society can be guaranteed. But, if the youth do not have proper facilities of life, are not properly absorbed within economic setup, do not have incentives to follow ambitious careers and are considered as a burden on the society, the future of such a society would be, without any doubt, instable and uncertain.
Though it is said that youngsters have the capacity to change the destiny of a nation for the better, often it is forgotten that they require proper care and nourishment before they are able to do so. A nation, if interested in cashing maximum from the potentials of its youth, must as a first step strive to take care of its youth. It has to make sure that it makes all the arrangements so that the potentials of the youth are used for positive purposes, like the development of country as a whole; otherwise, the same potentials can be used for the negative purposes and can, therefore, have negative consequences on the development of the nation.
Investing and investing appropriately on youth is like planting a tree. If the tree is properly watered and is taken care of, it would definitely produce tasty and juicy fruits but if it is left without enough attention, it would lose its life before it becomes a tree. Therefore, the nations require investing appropriately on their youth and their economic planning must have a large share for them. Ultimately, they would give back thousand times more than what is invested on them. The example of the youth in the developed countries can easily approve the claim. The youth in such countries are mostly involved in the betterment of their nations as they are given their basic rights and attention they deserve.
For the underdeveloped and the developing countries the youth are a hope – a hope for a developed future. They are basically an opportunity that has to be availed. Such countries need to realize that the only way they can bring about prosperity and development is through the most energetic stratum of the society.
Afghanistan is also one of the countries that can benefit from its youth to a great extent as its 60 percent population is below the age of 25. Many of them have the tendency to bring about positive changes in the society as they seem tired of instability and war. However, there are many others who have been victimized by the ongoing conflicts and instability and do not see any hope to come out of the quagmire. However, Afghanistan has an opportunity to use such a large number of human resource for a better tomorrow.
Without the contribution of the youth in Afghanistan it would be very difficult to see a healthy transition towards a democratic country and better economy as youth can have the real understanding for such a system and can work for it, while the old generation did not have such an opportunity as they were going through civil wars and chaotic instability.
However, without a comprehensive strategy it would be really difficult for Afghanistan to make any achievement regarding the development and the improvement of the youth and their roles within the society. Promises alone and separated actions would not bear any fruit and the youth would remain in the situation that is not favorable for their growth and capacity enhancement.
Afghanistan has to prepare itself for providing job opportunities to this large number of people, which is the only way to make them play positive role. Every year a large number of youngsters complete their education and strive to find employment so that they are able to earn a livelihood and at the same time support their families and country. They should be provided opportunities so that they are able to play a positive role in the society instead of becoming a burden or part of problem.