History of the UNESCO Youth Forum

The UNESCO Youth Forum is an integral part of the Organization’s General Conference. It has emerged as an important process that bridges the gap between young people, policy makers, and the international community.

UNESCO’s General Conference, the Organization’s highest decision-making body, meets every two years at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. Representatives of all the Member States assemble and decide on UNESCO’s general orientation, programme and budget for the following two years.

The UNESCO Youth Forum, held in the week preceding the General Conference, brings together youth delegates from around the world to exchange views, share experiences, reflect together and identify common opportunities and challenges. Young people have the opportunity to make their voices heard by UNESCO’s Member States, and to present their recommendations directly to the 36th UNESCO General Conference (cf. 35C/Resolution 99).

Youth delegates spend four days in plenary sessions and working groups. A final report sums up all of their deliberations. Key recommendations are then presented at the opening plenary session of the General Conference. Thus, youth delegates’ views, concerns and recommendations are taken into account by representatives of the Member States and the UNESCO Secretariat. This year, a related item will also be added to the agenda of each Programme Commission of the General Conference.

The UNESCO Youth Forum began in 1999 during the 30th General Conference. In recognition of its importance, the 2003 General Conference voted to make the Youth Forum a permanent feature of the UNESCO General Conference (32C/Res.82).

Previous editions of the UNESCO Youth Forum: 2005, 2007, 2009

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