Building peace in the minds of men and women

Youth networks and UN designing the future together!

20 March 2019



UNESCO will be co-chairing the UN Interagency Network on Youth Development (IANYD) for 2019-2020. Together with its permanent Co-Chair, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), it will steer interagency work towards fostering meaningful youth engagement with the UN at all levels.

30 UN entities gathered for a 3-day annual meeting of the IANYD at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on 11 March 2019. 8 youth representatives from 4 global youth-led networks (MGCY, ICMYO, UNOY Peacebuilders, Commonwealth Youth Council) joined participants from UN entities, on 12 and 13 March, to craft together IANYD’s priorities and a work plan for the 2019-2020 period and beyond.

Since 2010, the IANYD has been the principal body in the UN System fostering collaboration and coordination on youth issues among UN entities. It has spearheaded the first ever UN System-Wide Action Plan on Youth in 2013, the creation of the position of Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth in 2014, and, more recently, contributions to the development of the UN Youth Strategy.
This annual meeting was the 10-year mark for the Network and provided space for UN entities and youth networks to exchange views, discuss lessons learned and identify forward-looking ideas regarding the role of the Network over the next few years and within changing local and global contexts.

Moving forward, IANYD decided to welcome a Youth Caucus that will be entirely self-identified and self-managed by youth networks that work with IANYD. This decision illustrates the commitment of IANYD members to jointly lead the UN’s work on youth with young people in a genuinely inclusive manner. The Youth Caucus will identify a youth co-chair to the IANYD who will engage on an equal footing with the other 2 co-chairs of the Network.

In addition, the youth representatives and various UN entities collectively identified areas for priority actions for the future with a view to infuse the global discourse and actions on youth issues with new perspectives and knowledge.

Main objectives will be to

  • enhance youth-led engagement in UN’s work, particularly at country and regional level;
  • generate new ideas or paradigms on youth, consolidate data and cutting edge knowledge for policy use and discuss frontier issues, from a youth-relevant perspective;
  • address the investment and awareness gaps on youth issues; and
  • improve how the UN communicates on and, most importantly, with youth.

These actions will also contribute to the implementation of the UN Youth Strategy, as well as to other joint initiatives contributing to it.