Bringing together over 500 young women and men from all over the world, the 9th UNESCO Youth Forum – Young Global Citizens for a Sustainable Planet – started Monday October 26th in Paris, France and will continue through Wednesday October 28th.

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. 

This year’s forum focuses on issues related to Climate Change and the post-2015 Sustainable Development agenda to ensure that the voices of future generations remain front and centre of the new development agenda. Discussions at this year’s forum also emphasize the importance  of young people committing themselves as global citizens to contribute to the creation of a sustainable planet.

In the spirit of innovation, and to ensure equitable participation in discussions, this year’s forum agenda provided youth representatives with the opportunity to participate in small, future-focused discussions, beginning online prior to the forum, that now will feed into the larger conference. After the conference participants will be invited to develop youth-led action projects that channel the recommendations made during the forum itself. The top 5 projects will be selected to receive support and endorsement from UNESCO.

More information about the UNESCO Youth Forum, please click here.

UNESCO’s Director-General, Irina Bokova, spoke to the hundreds of young people who came together in Paris for the 9th UNESCO Youth Forum about the importance of young people as change agents around the world.

Additionally, the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi, addressed the 9th UNESCO Youth Forum on Monday, October 26th, and urged every young people to take action supporting and implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17  Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Follow the 9th UNESCO Youth Forum as it happens this week in Paris, see: 

UNESCO Youth Forum Graphic