9th UNESCO Youth Forum

The Youth Forum

What is the Youth Forum?

The UNESCO Youth Forum was created in 1999 to provide young people with the opportunity to present their concerns and ideas to Member States and help shape the direction of UNESCO.

Every two years, young people from 195 Member States come together at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris to discuss and debate thematic areas of concern. 

The forum culminates in a series of recommended actions to be presented at the UNESCO General Conference. These actions take into account the lived experiences and unique perspective of youth as well as the challenges facing young people today, ensuring that the voices of youth are properly represented in programmatic decisions made by the Member States.

Young Global Citizens and Sustainable Development

Young people in climate change demonstration

The 9th UNESCO Youth Forum brought together 500 young women and men from all over the world to focus on issues related to Climate Change and the post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda.

The 9th UNESCO Youth Forum took place at a crucial time for sustainable development – just one month after the UN Summit for adoption of the post-2015 Development Agenda and one month before the United Nations Climate Change Conference. The 9th UNESCO Youth Forum therefore served as a strategic opportunity to ensure that the voices of future generations remain front and centre of the new development agenda.

Format

In the spirit of innovation, and to ensure equitable participation in discussions, the agenda of the 9th UNESCO Youth Forum followed a foresight approach. This new approach provided youth representatives with the opportunity to participate in small, future-focused discussions, beginning online prior to the forum, which then fed into the larger conference.

In the spirit of becoming the change they wish to see in the world, after the conference participants were invited to develop youth-led action projects that channel the recommendations made during the forum itself.