Secretary General’s Statement ahead of International Youth Day 

I am pleased to join the Community of Democracies’ Member States, CoD YouthLeads, and young people worldwide in celebrating International Youth Day.

International Youth Day highlights the immense role of youth in shaping the world and serves as an excellent opportunity to reiterate commitment to advance youth engagement in public life. On this day, I am reminded of the vital role of young people in identifying practical solutions to complex global problems.

In my recent visits to Ukraine, Taiwan, and Guatemala, it was genuinely inspiring to meet with youth from different cultures to understand their views on democracy and political participation and discuss needs and aspirations. Across the world, young activists and democracy champions are playing a central role in driving significant changes in their communities, but many others feel disconnected from the current political establishment in their countries. Understanding and breaking down barriers that limit meaningful youth engagement and participation is vital.

The Community of Democracies remains committed to advocating for enhanced youth engagement in democratic processes. Ahead of tomorrow’s International Youth Day, let me welcome a new CoD YouthLeads cohort of young democracy leaders from different countries and continents. I look forward to working with these bright minds to promote and strengthen democracy worldwide.