Bridging the inevitable gap between young people and a highly complex international organization with its many partners and networks proves to be a challenging task: the UNESCO Youth Forum, an integral part of the Organization’s General Conference, has emerged as a very important tool in this respect.

The first UNESCO Youth Forum was held at the 30th General Conference in 1999. Since then the Forums have gone from strength to strength and in 2003, the General Conference unanimously decided to make the Youth Forum a permanent feature of the UNESCO General Conference.

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

The UNESCO Youth Forum, held prior to the General Conference, brings together young delegates from all over the world to exchange views, share experiences, reflect together and identify common opportunities and challenges. Their discussions lead to a final report which is presented at the UNESCO General Conference, allowing for young people’s views, concerns and recommendations to be taken into account by the representatives of the Member States and the UNESCO Secretariat.

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