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‘World Youth Skills Day 2019’ celebrated at the UN Headquarters in New York

Monday, 15 July 2019

The ‘World Youth Skills Day 2019’ was celebrated for the fifth consecutive year on 15th July 2019 at the United Nations headquarters in New York. The event was organized by the Permanent Missions of Sri Lanka and Portugal to the UN in New York in partnership with the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, ILO and UNESCO. The event was attended by over 120 participants and brought together the voices of Member States of the UN, the UN system, private sector, academia, civil society and youth organizations.

Group photo at the 'World Youth Skills Day 2019' commemoration event at the UN Headquarters.

On 18 December 2014, the United Nations General Assembly adopted by consensus, resolution, A/RES/69/145, titled ‘World Youth Skills Day’ spearheaded by Sri Lanka, declaring 15th July as the World Youth Skills Day. Since then, this has been an annual event celebrated at the UN.

This year’s event was held under the theme ‘Learning to Learn for Life and Work’ and was co-chaired by the Permanent Representative of Portugal Francisco António Duarte Lopes and the Chargé d’ Affaires a.i. of Sri Lanka, Satya Rodrigo. The event assessed mechanisms needed to operationalize lifelong learning; explored ways to optimize inter-generational dialogues including through work exposure measures and discussed new ways of learning in the future of work .

The event was graced by Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces, President of the General Assembly who delivered a statement at the Opening Session. Representing the UN Secretary-General, Ana Maria Menéndez, Under-Secretary-General of the UN also delivered a statement at the event. Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, Guy Ryder, Director-General of ILO; and Jayathma Wickramanayake, UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth also delivered remarks at the Opening Session.

The Interactive Panel Discussion, featured the following distinguished panelists: Iselin Nybø, Minister of Research and Higher Education of Norway; Oscar Ghillione, Vice Minister of Educational Management of Argentina, V. Sivaganasothy, Secretary to the Ministry of National Policies, Economic Affairs, Resettlement & Rehabilitation, Northern Province Development & Youth Affairs of Sri Lanka; Amelia Addis, World Skills Champion Representative for Oceania & ASEAN; Erol Kiresepi, President of IOE; and Mamadou Diallo, Deputy General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation. The event was moderated by youth activist Tina Hocevar, Vice President of the European Youth Forum.


The Permanent Missions of Sri Lanka and Portugal also co-hosted a reception for Member States, representatives of the UN agencies, private sector, academia, civil society and youth organizations following the conclusion of the ‘World Youth Skills Day’ event at UN Headquarters. The reception was held at the premises of the Sri Lanka Mission and this provided an opportunity to promote the taste and flavours of Sri Lankan cuisine in New York.     

Panelists at the Interactive Panel Discussion

Participants of the 'World Youth Skills Day 2019' event enjoying Sri Lankan cuisine.


Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN

New York

16 July 2019