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Sustainability is this year’s theme for International Youth Day. It’s the second year in a row the day has had an environmental message.

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The United Nations General Assembly first declared August 12th International Youth Day in 1999. It’s a day to mobilize young people globally on a common theme. This year, young people are looking to build a sustainable future. They recognize that the environmental crisis, which is best represented by climate disruption, also offers a huge challenge and chance to steer the world away from destructive economic activities towards an equitable society where sustainable, green jobs abound.

Rh’ena Oake, co-chair of the CUPE National Environment Committee, supports the environmental direction of International Youth Day: “Youth worldwide are sending a clear message to everyone on the planet: we must change our course if young people and all of us have any hope of achieving a sustainable future. By bringing the climate crisis into sharp focus, young people remind us that our greatest priority for future generations must be to create a global society with environmental principles at its core.”