Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, September 23rd, 2018

International Youth Day 2018

Today, i.e. August 12th is being celebrated as International Youth Day around the world. Basically, the day was endorsed by United Nations General Assembly on 17 December 1999, by accepting the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth (Lisbon, 8-12 August 1998) that 12th August be declared ‘International Youth Day’.
Different countries are being a part of the day in their own ways and they discuss and highlight the issues of the youngsters and even appreciate their achievements. This year’s theme for the day is “Safe Spaces for Youth”. The theme is to highlight the fact that youth need safe spaces where they can come together, engage in activities related to their diverse needs and interests, participate in decision making processes and freely express themselves. While there are many types of spaces, safe spaces ensure the dignity and safety of youth. Safe spaces such as civic spaces enable youth to engage in governance issues; public spaces afford youth the opportunity to participate in sports and other leisure activities in the community; digital spaces help youth interact virtually across borders with everyone; and well planned physical spaces can help accommodate the needs of diverse youth especially those vulnerable to marginalization or violence.
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.
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.