Young people


Because Youth Matter

UNESCO with, by and for youth

According to the World Youth Report (2020), there are 1.2 billion young people aged 15 to 24 years, accounting for 16 per cent of the global population.

Youth is a priority group for UNESCO. Recognizing their creativity, innovation and capacity to make change happen in the world, we firmly believe that young people are crucial actors, leaders, and partners. UNESCO is committed to accompany them in fighting inequality, contributing to sustainable development and building peace.

For over 20 years, we have been working with thousands of young people worldwide by establishing and supporting youth-led initiatives and networks, strengthening youth capacities, fostering their knowledge production, and creating dialogue spaces between youth, policymakers and other partners. We have also been actively and meaningfully engaging youth in our programmes in all of UNESCO’s field of competence, from design to implementation and follow-up.

Young people embody hope for better, innovative, and more effective solutions to the world’s challenges! UNESCO is working actively to ensure that their voices are heard because they matter.

Participants at the 11th Youth Forum
TEST_Youth banner_not to use

Supporting youth in changing the world

UNESCO Youth Forum
Youth As Researchers
Global Youth Community
Youth UNESCO Climate Action Network
International Youth Day
Master Class Series against Racism and Discriminations
Youth Eyes on the Silk Roads Photo Contest
UNESCO with, by and for youth

UNESCO Youth Forum

The UNESCO Youth Forum process is an essential part of the UNESCO Youth Programme. Since 1999 and every two years, it has provided youth with an opportunity to dialogue among themselves and with UNESCO, to share their enthusiasm and creativity, and to present their challenges but also ideas for solution to Member States, on the occasion of the General Conference, which is UNESCO’s highest decision-making body.

The UNESCO Youth Forum is shaped by, with and for youth, from the preparatory stages to the event itself at UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris, France.

Through debate and discussion, youth draw up recommendations for action, reflecting the most pressing needs and concerns of youth today in the fields of UNESCO’s mandate.

Global Youth Community

The UNESCO Global Youth Community (GYC) is an inclusive platform, run by youth and for youth. It aims to provide a space that fosters youth-to-youth collaboration and intergenerational learning, and increases the visibility of youth action and work of young change-makers.

This initiative emerged during the 11th UNESCO Youth Forum (November 2019). 75 young people, from all regions of the world and leading ground-breaking change in their countries and communities in UNESCO’s domains, gathered to discuss the best strategies to improve Youth Engagement with UNESCO. They created the UNESCO Global Youth Community


The UNESCO Global Youth Community has two objectives:

  1. Emerge as an independent learning community by and for young people across the globe to co-learn, co-design and co-implement projects and programmes related to UNESCO’s fields of competence, in a safe, flexible and inclusive space.
  2. Encourage and facilitate meaningful engagement of young people in the development and implementation of UNESCO projects and programmes

GYC provides five main services

  1. Collaboration: Share your ideas and contribute to projects across the globe
  2. Networking: Get in touch with young people and experts active in your area of work
  3. Learning: Strengthen your capacities through our learning hub
  4. Advocacy: Join campaigns that unite young people and make your voice heard
  5. Opportunities: Find opportunities to showcase your youth-led project

Why join?

  • Connect with other GYC members in efforts to obtain funding or other types of support (endorsement, visibility, technical support, etc.) from UNESCO or other relevant actors.
  • Submit content about your specific project(s) or about the work of your youth-led organization.
  • Engage with peer-learning opportunities in UNESCO’s fields of competence; access trainings, workshops and volunteer opportunities; contribute to projects and learn from others.
  • Access the learning hub, where you can find resources and training materials in a variety of different formats (webinars, courses, publications).
  • Participate in forums and campaigns that unite young people around the world.

Who can apply?

Individuals, aged 18-35, and youth-led organizations– implementing their initiatives within UNESCO’s main fields of competence:

  • Education
  • Natural Sciences
  • Social and Human Sciences
  • Culture
  • Communication and Information

How to become a member?

To become a member of the GYC platform, please fill in the application form.
A special Youth Committee will evaluate each application in order for future members to be part of the platform.


For any questions, technical issues or suggestions please contact:


Global policy brief - Youth as researchers: exploring the impact of COVID-19 on youth.
Youth and water security in Africa
UNESCO Office Nairobi
Literacy and life skills assessment of Syrian youth (2021): summary report
UNESCO Office in Beirut


Conclusions of the Youth Forum
22 November 2021
UNESCO operational strategy on youth 2014-2021