Happy International Youth Day and welcome to the latest update of UNDP Asia Pacific’s Youth Empowerment initiative. This year, the theme for International Youth Day is “Safe Spaces for Youth”. This refers to civic spaces, physical public spaces and digital spaces which allow young people to engage in decision making, participate fully in their communities and interact virtually with others across borders. In order for young people to be able to effectively contribute to social and economic development, it is crucial that these spaces are inclusive of all youth. In many countries in the Asia-Pacific region, as in the rest of the world, youth are effectively excluded from decision making and political forums, and their access to and participation in public spaces is restricted. This is particularly true for young women and other marginalised youth, and further entrenches existing social tensions and inequalities.