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In celebration of this year's International Youth Day, which is commemorated annually on the 12 th August, the UN Youth Theme Group hosted a vibrant hybrid webinar with the theme, Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a world for all ages in Pretoria on 12 August 2022. Participants from various youth networks and formations honored the theme by raising awareness on barriers to intergenerational solidarity, notably ageism, which impacts young and old persons, while having detrimental effects on society.

International Youth Day provides an opportunity to celebrate young people’s views and initiatives on a global scale. The day is intended to celebrate and mainstream voices, actions, and initiatives of young people. Most importantly to strengthen young people’s universal, meaningful, and equitable engagement. The panelists of young leaders consisted of dynamic trail blazers from diverse sectors and organizations which enabled a panoramic and broad view of an intergenerational exchange of decoding the barriers in which the youth can reach their full potential, recommendations and solutions on how these can be achieved so that we can create a world for all ages.

It was noted that youth are at the intersection of multiple vulnerable situations: young people continue to suffer from age-related barriers in various spheres of their lives such as
employment, political participation, health, and justice. On an individual level, these age- related obstacles harbor severe impact on wellbeing and livelihoods not only during the youth years, but also in adulthood. On a societal level, ageism prevents us from thinking and designing policies and social services that adopt a life-course approach and are fair for all ages. “It is important to form collaborations and form intergenerational partnerships to commit to the youth agenda and make the right investments to leverage the potential of all generations,” noted UNFPA Representative and UN Youth Theme Group co-chair, Dr Bannet Ndyanabangi.

The need therefore to collaborate and form intergenerational partnerships is important to leverage the full potential of all generations. The UNICEF Representative and co- chair of the UN Youth Theme Group, Ms. Christine Muhiganae, reiterated that “we remain committed to advancing the youth development agenda and strive to create a think tank thought leadership space on youth inclusion.”

In concluding remarks, there was consensus that intergenerational solidarity between generations strengthens social connectedness, allows for a life course approach to be adopted
in thinking and in designing of policies that ensure no one is left behind as a result of their age.