Young women and men as partners for peace and development

Young women and men have got the creativity, the potential and the capacity to make change happen – for themselves, for their societies, and for the rest of the world. UNESCO’s work with and for youth is committed to empowering young women and men and helping them to work together to drive social innovation and change, participate fully in the development of their societies, eradicate poverty and inequality, and foster a culture of peace.

UNESCO recognises that the youth should not just be beneficiaries of the work by others, rather they should be essential actors in finding solutions to the issues faced by young people in the world today. Their energy and leadership must be demonstrated across the world, and they must be fully engaged in social development themselves and supported in this work by their societies.

UNESCO will provide upstream policy advice for the development or review of transversal and inclusive public policies on youth with the equal participation of young women and men and in line with national priorities and through an integrated and youth needs-sensitive analytical approach. At national level, building the capacities of decision-makers and of personnel of related institutions will be an integral part of UNESCO’s action, which will be reflected in UNDAFs and UCPDs. In parallel, UNESCO will guide national governments in applying participatory processes, engaging all related stakeholders, particularly young women and men. Specific focus will be placed on the creation or strengthening of national youth structures (Youth Councils or other) to ensure representation of different groups of youth, including vulnerable and marginalized groups with a particular focus on marginalized or vulnerable young women.

Complementary to the policy work, UNESCO will foster youth civic engagement, democratic participation and social innovation, emphasizing three specific aspects of engagement:

(I)Youth participation in decision-making and democratic consolidation: UNESCO will advocate for, associate its networks to, and facilitate the development of youth participation processes from the local (school, community, municipality) to the global level (regional and international fora, youth consultation processes, etc.), with particular attention to marginalize groups. These efforts will be complemented by initiatives that allow youth to express themselves, to understand their rights and responsibilities and to play an active role in affirming democratic processes.

 (ii) Youth leadership, entrepreneurship and innovation for sustainable livelihoods and poverty reduction: UNESCO will mobilize partners and networks and will provide technical advice and training to support young women and men in leading action for sustainable livelihoods and community development.

 (iii) Youth engagement to promote mutual understanding, prevent conflict, combat violence and discrimination and participate in conflict resolution and building and consolidating peace. UNESCO will develop comprehensive and gender sensitive interventions, engaging youth through artistic, cultural, entrepreneurial and sport activities, as a means to prevent violence and discrimination affecting them. Youth engagement in conflict prevention, reconciliation and the consolidation of peace, particularly in countries in transition, will be supported through targeted training, youth exchanges and dialogue initiatives. All activities will be designed with the necessary critical mass to deliver impact and will, in particular be reflected in UNDAFs and UCPDs.

What has been done already?

Upcoming projects

Back to top