Press Release

Viet Nam celebrates 2017 International Youth Day:"Youth Empowerment for the Country’s Development"

11 August 2017

Ha Noi, 11 August 2017 – Celebrating International Youth Day, over 500 young people, representatives from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Youth Union, the United Nations (UN) in Viet Nam and government and development organizations gathered in Ha Noi in the morning of 11 August to commemorate and promote the role of youth in advancing socio-economic growth, peace, and sustainable development through policy.

As of today, Viet Nam is in a period of demographic dividend, recording the highest proportion of young people in the country’s history. According to the Viet Nam Population Change and Family Planning Survey 2015, adolescents and youth aged 10-29 account for about 30 per cent of the total population. This demographic window of opportunity presents Viet Nam with a timely and unique opportunity to support the new generation as drivers of social, political and economic progress.

Under the global theme of “Youth Building Peace”, Viet Nam celebrated International Youth Day with the theme of “Youth Empowerment for the Country’s Development”. The celebration’s main event, a policy dialogue between youth representatives and government leaders and parliamentarians, highlighted the role and contribution of young people in Viet Nam’s development and allowed for open dialogue regarding the needs and role of youth in policy development processes. Moreover the event welcomed youth performances and the exhibition of youth-led initiatives, projects and programmes in Viet Nam.

Addressing the Celebration, Mr. Nguyen Trong Thua, Vice Minister of Home Affairs said: "The Government of Viet Nam respects the important role and active participation of young people in developing and defending the country at all times. Young people are not only beneficiaries but also actively participate in policy development. The National Assembly, the Government and local authorities organized many forums and dialogues with young people where young people had opportunities to express their ideas, contributing to the youth programmes and policies".

Preceding the celebration, a participatory two-day capacity-building training involved 25 youth representatives from various backgrounds including ethnic minority groups, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI), people living with HIV, migrants and people with disabilities.

Youth activists, entrepreneurs and students were among those trained on current youth policies and national programmes in Viet Nam, policy advocacy, interpersonal communication skills and the youth’s role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and gender equality. Through the training, youth developed key questions to address during the policy dialogue and a youth statement capturing the aspirations and time-bound expectations youth which to follow-up and achieve.

A core aspect of the Youth Statement presented at the event, emphasized that young people are drivers of change and leaders of the future. Trusting, empowering and supporting young people creates an enabling environment for their success.

Attending the celebration, Tan Thi Su, Founder & Director of travel company Sapa Limited O'Chau and Nguyen Anh Khoa, Deputy Head of the People's Committee of Ba Dien Commune, Quang Ngai Province spoke of their experience, challenges and successes as entrepreneurs and youth of the Vietnamese community. The young speakers encouraged youth to be both ambitious and innovative in how they participate in development efforts; emphasized the importance of collective action; and highlighted the importance of failure in succeeding.

Initiating the event, Mr. Kamal Malhotra, U.N. Resident Coordinator to Viet Nam, underscored the standing of youth by stating that “International Youth Day should remind us all about the importance of empowering young people as important, expressive and active individuals. As members of society to influence policies and decisions that affect their lives and their contribution to Viet Nam’s social, environmental and economic development. Today should remind us to view youth as partners in achieving sustainable development, and not just the subjects or beneficiaries of our efforts.”

Building a peaceful, developed and prosperous country requires the full and meaningful participation of young people. Investing in them in ways that build their capabilities and creating opportunities that will enable them to realize their full potential in life are a prerequisite for their engagement in civic affairs.

On International Youth Day 2017, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Viet Nam Youth Union and the United Nations in Viet Nam call on all stakeholders to make sure that young people are fully recognised, engaged and empowered to play a key role in the national effort to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

For further information, please contact:
Ms. Nguyen Thi Hong Thanh
UN Communications
Mob: 0913093363
Email: tnguyen@unfpa.org