The International Youth Day is being celebrated throughout the world today, including in Nepal by organizing various programmes. The theme of the International Youth Day this year is - 'Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World'.
The United Nations says, "Today, the world is embarking on a green transition. The shift towards an environmentally sustainable and climate-friendly world is critical not only for responding to the global climate crisis but also for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A successful transition towards a greener world will depend on the development of green skills in the population. Green skills are 'knowledge, abilities, values and attitudes needed to live in, develop and support a sustainable and resource-efficient society'.
These include technical knowledge and skills that enable the effective use of green technologies and processes in occupational settings, as well as transversal skills that draw on a range of knowledge, values and attitudes to facilitate environmentally sustainable decisions in work and in life. Due to their interdisciplinary nature, the essence of green skills is sometimes expressed, partly if not wholly, through other associated terms such as 'skills for the future' and 'skills for green jobs'. While green skills are relevant for people of all ages, they have heightened importance for younger people, who can contribute to the green transition for a longer period of time."
In Nepal, although the government has been observing the Day by holding several programmes every year, there is a long way to go in terms of the effective implementation of the youths' issues, according to the intellectuals.
They say the issues related to the youths are not addressed as expected due to the lack of effective execution of the various programmes targeting the youths.
The government had set up the Ministry of Youth and Sports in 2065 BS for the development and mobilisation of the youths. Likewise, the National Youth Council was formed in 2072 BS with the objective of developing youth leadership and capacity, promoting entrepreneurship and self-employment of youths, ensuring youth's access and participation in the national goal of building a prosperous Nepal. The Youth Self-employment Fund has also been set up for the promotion of self-employment among the youths.
The National Youth Policy 2072 and Youth Vision 2025 also have incorporated in the policy broader topics on youth development. There are youth's bodies at the province, district and local levels for achieving these goals. These include the Province Youth Council, the District Youth Committee and the Youth Network. The youth councils have been formed in Lumbini, Bagmati and Sudurpaschim provinces.
Despite having several bodies for implementing the policies related to the youth, the youth's issues are not addressed. National Youth Council executive vice-president Surendra Basnet complained that the Acts and policies targeted to the youth are not implemented effectively.
He viewed that although various programmes have been developed for the youth sector, there is problem in their implementation due to the shortage of budget. "There is very limited budget for the implementation of policies related to the youth. Hence, the difficulty in implementing the policies," he lamented.
Basnet shared that the State is simply not according the priority that it should be to the youth-related programmes as youth empowerment, developing youth entrepreneurship, self-employment and youth self-reliance.
The UN decided in 1999 to observe the 12th of August every year as the International Youth Day and it has been marked regularly since 2000.
However, in Nepal the Day was first marked since 2004 under the initiatives of the organisations working in the youth sector. It has been celebrated at the leadership of the National Youth Council for the first time from 2016.
President of National Youth Association Kshitiz Thebe said although the structures and the legislations related to youth are in place as demanded, there is problem implementing the plans.
According to him, youths are the primary force for building a new Nepal and the State should operate youth-friendly activities and implement the youth-related policies and programmes in an effective way. In his view, problem has also been seen in the implementation of the Youth Vision 2025 and the Youth Self-employment Fund.
Meanwhile, Minister for Youth and Sports, Dig Bahadur Limbu, has said the government has forwarded activities to revise the Youth Policy. He said so while participating in the youth procession programme in the federal capital on Friday on the occasion of International Youth Day.
"The government is going to revise the Youth Policy through the National Youth Council," he mentioned, adding a policy is being prepared regarding how to give more and more space and role to youths.
The Youth Minister urged the youths to provide suggestions required for policy enhancement. Calling the youths to be ready to lead the country, he stressed that the youths should be involved in determination of nation building and its development, making all united.
Pointing out the need to move ahead forging a common agenda for country's development, he shared that it was necessary to move ahead joining hands in any difficult situation to achieve sustainable development goals.