In 1985, the UN celebrated the first International Year of Youth. On its 10th anniversary, the General Assembly adopted the World Programme of Action for Youth, setting a policy framework and guidelines for national action and international support to improve the situation of young people.

15 Priority Areas adopted by the General Assembly:

  • Education
  • Employment
  • Hunger and poverty
  • Health
  • Environment
  • Drug abuse
  • Juvenile delinquency
  • Leisure-time activities
  • Girls and young women
  • Participation
  • Globalization
  • Information and communication technologies
  • Youth and conflict
  • Intergenerational relations

Today, the World Programme of Action for Youth plays a prominent role in youth development. It focuses on measures to strengthen national capacities in the field of youth and to increase the quality and quantity of opportunities available to young people for full, effective and constructive participation in society.

The United Nations Programme on Youth serves as the Focal Point on Youth at the UN. It undertakes a range of activities to promote youth development including supporting intergovernmental policy-making, conducting analytical research and increasing the effectiveness of the UN’s work in youth development by strengthening collaboration and exchange among UN entities through the Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development.