UNV has been promoting the role of youth in development since 1976, and it has extensive expertise in youth volunteer placement. Many UNV projects already involve a large number of young people. In 2011, 23 per cent of all UN Volunteers and 62 per cent of all UN Online Volunteers were below the age of thirty.
The UN Youth Volunteers Programme
During his announcement of his Five-Year Action Agenda on 25 January 2012 the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme to create a specific youth volunteers programme. Since then, UNDP, UNV and the UN Inter-Agency Network on Youth (IANYD) hav been engaging with youth-led networks, international volunteer sending organizations, national volunteering and civil society organizations, and UN agencies to develop, design and implement the UN Youth Volunteers Programme. The new youth volunteers initiative aims to ensure leadership of youth volunteerism within the UN and enhance global partnerships with youth volunteering partners. The programme is based on the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Five-Year Action Agenda which seeks to empower the largest generation of young people the world has ever known to realize their full social, economic and human potential and to gain a strong sense of civic engagement to bring about transformational change in their communities.