The United Nations has designated 1985 as International Youth Year and has established three themes - participation, development, peace - to provide a focus for activities.

The three themes of the Year - participation, development, peace - that have been adopted to provide a focus for IYY activities are sufficiently broad to encompass the interests of young people around the world and to be applied to the activities of organizations active at local, national and international levels. Central to the theme of participation is a concept of social integration in which individuals are recognized as able to decide on matters affecting their lives and have the opportunity to take part in the decision-making process. The concept of development as put forward by the United Nations is a process of social, economic and political change that enables all people to realize their potential for the betterment of social life; it incorporates the growth of the individual with local and national development. Peace is seen as a prerequisite to participation and development; inherent in this concept are respect for national sovereignty and individual human rights.

IYY offers a unique opportunity to involve young people in a significant way in the discussion and resolution of issues that affect their lives. The year gives us an opportunity to continue to encourage the personal development of young people in the direction they choose, and to heighten their awareness of our increasingly interdependent world. It is also an opportunity to foster the improved international understanding and cooperation that young people of all countries seek. IYY also offers a special opportunity to raise public awareness of the situation of young people, and the contribution they make to society. The Ministry of State for Youth is responsible for coordinating Canada's observance of the Year.

An International Youth Year Secretariat has been established to undertake this project. In an effort to develop a program, the Secretariat has been consulting with other levels of government and interested voluntary organizations and individuals. During these consultations, young people have stressed that IYY be a year by and for youth and that it has a lasting impact on the approach of society and its various institutions and organizations to young people.

1985 is the end of women's decade and this is an opportunity to look at issues affecting young women.

For groups who want to explore problems and issues affecting young women IYY could provide the opportunity to do so.

It is expected that the details of the national IYY program will be announced in the near future. For additional information contact:
IYY Secretariat, Room l3-F-2,
Secretary of State Department, Ottawa, Ontario,
KIA OM5, (819) 994-2391.

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