The UN International Year of Youth was launched on 12 August 2010. The Year provides the framework to bring youth to the forefront of global debates. It is an opportunity to take the youth development agenda a step further and to advocate for increased investments in, and strengthened commitments to, youth.
“Five years away from the 2015 target date for achieving the Millennium Development Goals, it is more important than ever to encourage young people to dedicate themselves to achieving a more just and sustainable world,” Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General, said in her message on the occasion of the launch of the Year.
UNESCO has been developing various specific initiatives within the strategic objectives of its Youth Programme, also in connection with the celebration of the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2010).
From February 2010 to February 2011, UNESCO was the co-chair of the UN Interagency Network on Youth development alongside the UN Programme on Youth, permanent co-chair of the Network. As such, UNESCO contributed to the coordination of the UN System celebration of the Year, and of the UN input to key global events during the Year, particularly the World Youth Conference (Mexico, August 2010).