UNESCO Youth Forum 2007

Held just before the 34th General Conference of the Organization, at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, from 12 to 13 October 2007, the Forum gave its young participants the opportunity to evaluate the series of regional youth forums and contribute to the work of the two Ministerial Roundtables that took place during the General Conference, on:

  • Education and economic development and
  • The contribution of science and technology to sustainable development – the role of UNESCO

Documents [PDF]:

Background

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

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 a few days before the General Conference kicks off, brings together young delegates from all over the world to exchange views, share experiences, reflect together and, above all, detect common preoccupations and problems. This means that young people have the opportunity to make their voices heard by the General Conference, and that way, to contribute to its work.

The first UNESCO Youth Forum was held at the 30th General Conference (1999). The young delegates spend three to four days in plenary sessions and working groups, and they produce a final report that sums up all of their deliberations. This report is then presented at the opening plenary session of the General Conference, allowing for the young delegates’ views, concerns and recommendations to be taken into account by the representatives of the Member States and the UNESCO Secretariat at the 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.

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