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International Youth Day 2021: Sudanese Youth; a Pillar of Change

Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health

Muawad Mustafa Rashid

With the world’s population expected to increase by 2 billion people in the next 30 years, it has become recognized by numerous stakeholders that simply producing a larger volume of healthier food more sustainably will not ensure human and planetary wellbeing. Other crucial challenges must also be addressed, such as the interlinkages embodied by the 2030 Agenda including poverty reduction; social inclusion; health care; biodiversity conservation; and climate change mitigation. It has been acknowledged that there is a need for inclusive support mechanisms that ensure youth continue to amplify efforts collectively and individually to restore the planet and protect life while integrating biodiversity in the transformation of food systems.

The theme of International Youth Day 2021, “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health”, highlights the success of such a global effort that will not be achieved without the meaningful participation of young people.

During the 2021 ECOSOC Youth Forum (EYF), the issues and priorities highlighted by young participants included the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly related to its effect on human health, the environment, and food systems. As part of the official outcome recommendations of the EYF, young participants stressed the importance of working towards more equitable food systems. In addition, they highlighted the need for youth to make informed decisions on food choices through increasing global education on the healthiest and most sustainable options for both individuals and the environment. There were also recommendations on providing adequate capacity development concerning the resilience of food systems, in particular during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and in its aftermath.

Through youth education, engagement, innovation, and entrepreneurial solutions, this year’s International Youth Day aims to provide a platform for young people to continue the momentum from the EYF in the lead-up to the high-level Food Systems Summit. This year, International Youth Day will be virtually convened by DESA in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Major Group for Children and Youth.

Sudanese Youth Contribution in Overcoming the Crises

The contribution of the Sudanese youth on the issues of development and stability could not be overstepped or disregarded. They must be listened to because they are the renewable energy that will lead the country to prosperity considering that they represent over 60% of the population.

If well directed to development and stability, the Sudanese youth can make the shift towards prosperity and flourishment.

Youth is the Dynamo of the real change, and the country wants to progress, it must utilize them to become its axis of the programs.

We believe that any country that neglects its youth is a failed state, and this was obvious during the ousted regime era when the government worked hard to weaken them to continue its totalitarian rule, neglecting their mighty energy that was able to make the change.

The Sudanese youth were in the front lines of the sit-in area which resulted in the uprooting of the totalitarian regime of Al-Bashir and leading a unique revolution.

Our youth are still determent to guard their revolution and complete the change course towards safe shores of democracy.

Celebrating International Youth Day is an opportunity to recall the challenges facing the youth and to be aware the leaders all over the globe pay more attention to this category by paving the way for their innovations.

It is important here to say that the Sudanese youth, despite the conditions they are facing, are always on the radars of the international forums through their innovations in all fields.

Sudan is classified as a young state and this is a preferential feature that should be utilized.

The Sudanese youth, like all other resources, are unutilized and neglected.

It is high time for the transitional government to launch and commemorate a national youth day to support and encourage to take the lead and replace the old guards who are leading the nation since its independence without making any breakthrough to bring the country from its crises.

Caption: “Young people are on the frontlines of the struggle to build a better future for all. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the dire need for the kind of transformational change they seek – and young people must be full partners in that effort.”

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