Press Release

International Youth Day 2017 focusing on Youth Policy Building for Peace and Sustainable Development – For Youth By Youth

12 August 2017

Vientiane Capital – Massive crowd of young people around the capital have made a sprightly night at Thatluang Lake Walking Street. With support from United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Lao Youth Union (LYU) celebrated International Youth Day on August 11th, 2017 around the global theme of: “Youth Policy Building for Peace and Sustainable Development”.


This year’s International Youth Day provided an opportunity to celebrate and promote Lao youth’ contributions to policy building for peace and sustainable development. It centered youth voices and experiences via several mediums, including a social media campaign, games and a marketplace, as part of an effort to facilitate an inclusive and participatory youth policy development process that is For Youth By Youth.


“With such a young population, Lao PDR has an unprecedented opportunity to step up as stronger leader in youth development if we can ensure a supportive policy environment for youth. Lao Youth Union is committed and reaffirms the central role of young people in the development of the first ever national youth policy process to be for youth by youth” Mr. Somkiao Kingsada, Deputy Chief of Cabinet, Lao Youth Union


Globally the event is celebrated on the 12th August and aims to highlight the importance of youth efforts, collaboration and participation in the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, in particular the role of young people in ensuring poverty eradication and achieving Sustainable Development. The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda was adopted by world leaders in September 2015, marking the beginning of an action plan centering people, the planet, and prosperity for all, ensuring that adolescents and young people are not left behind.


 “Too often adolescents and young people are left out of the dialogue about them. Engaging youth and valuing their opinion throughout the process is critical for ensuring an inclusive policy document” said Ms. Ulrika Rehnstrom, UNFPA’s Deputy Representative. With more than half of the population being less than 25 years old in Lao PDR it will depend on targeted and effective policies and investments to ensure that this large youth population will become a driver of sustainable development. The success of the 2030 Agenda will depend on whether the potential of everyone, including youth and adolescents, is realized or not.


The International Youth Day event also provides the Lao government and UNFPA the opportunity to promote the importance of the creation of a comprehensive youth policy to protect youth, call upon the support of all Government and Development partners to contribute to this essential process, and ensure effective awareness raising among policy-makers and Lao youth themselves.