Ahead of this year’s 8th UNESCO Youth Forum to be held in Paris, France from 29-31 October 2013, young people throughout the world have been participating in the pre-Forum discussions online since August 21st, 2013.

The UNESCO Youth Forum, held prior to UNESCO’s General Conference, brings together young participants from all over the world to exchange views, share experiences, reflect together and identify common opportunities and challenges. The event allows young people to voice their ideas and concerns and make suggestions directly to the UNESCO General Conference. Their discussions lead to a final report which is presented at the UNESCO General Conference, allowing for young peoples’ views, concerns and recommendations to be taken into account by the representatives of the MemberStates and the UNESCO Secretariat.

By taking part in the online discussion community, young men and women are shaping the way in which UNESCO’s Operational Strategy on Youth is to be implemented from 2014 to 2021. In line with the three main axes of this Strategy, the topics for discussion are:

1.    Policy formulation and review with the participation of youth;
2.    Capacity development for the transition to adulthood;
3.    Civic engagement, democratic participation and social innovation.

The preliminary debates have been taking place online, providing the blueprint for nine strategic recommendations that are to be presented by the youth delegates during the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum, held at the Organization’s Headquarters, in Paris, France, from 29 to 31 October 2013.
These discussions are open to all young men and women, not only those coming who will be attending the forum to Paris. This represents a chance for youth from across the world to come together and share their concerns, local and global, and to put forward their solutions.

The forum’s discussions are being led by young people, about young people, and for young people. Young people can still participate in the discussin by signing-up here and they can also send  questions related to the forum to youth@unesco.org