© 2000 Patrick Coleman, Courtesy of PhotoshareOver the past year, the global youth community has had much to celebrate! As the New Year approaches we are taking a look back over some of the major milestones in youth health and development that occurred in 2012.  Following is a selection of the highlights:

  • On April 27, 2012, at the 45th Session of the United Nations Commission on Population and Development (CPD), member states issued a bold resolution in support of young people’s sexual and reproductive health and human rights.
  • Also in April, the Lancet released its second series on adolescent health. This series includes four papers, “Adolescence: a foundation for future health,” “Adolescence and the social determinants of health,” “Worldwide application of prevention science in adolescent health,” and “Health of the world’s adolescents: a synthesis of internationally comparable data.”
  • As a part of the International AIDS conference in July, YouthForce and CrowdOutAIDS/UNAIDS invited young people to develop a list of priority HIV responses. These responses were compiled to create The Declaration for Change, a document intended to advance the vision for an AIDS-free generation.
  • At the landmark Family Planning Summit on July 11, 2012, global leaders from national governments, donor organizations, civil society, the private sector, and the research and development community committed to increasing contraceptive access for 120 million women and girls by 2020.
  • On August 12, the world celebrated International Youth Day. The theme of this year’s youth day was “Building a Better World: Partnering with Youth” — a global call to action to develop and engage in partnerships with and for youth.
  • On October 11, we celebrated the first international day of the girl, recognizing the importance of addressing the most pressing needs of adolescent girls globally.
  • On November 1, USAID released a policy titled, “Youth in Development: Realizing the Demographic Opportunity,” which provides guidance on pursuing innovative and cost effective approaches to empowering youth to contribute to and benefit from their countries’ development efforts.
  • In December, more than 900 young people gathered in Bali, Indonesia to develop recommendations for the United Nations’ development agenda.  A major outcome of this event was the development of the Bali Global Youth Forum Declaration.

We look forward to sharing many more milestones and accomplishment in the field of youth health and development in 2013! We wish all of our readers a Happy New Year!