UNESCO Youth Forum - Celebrating a decade of youth participation

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First held in 1999, the Youth Forum remains among the very few long-term regular institutionalised mechanism for youth participation at the highest level within the United Nations system. UNESCO’s Member States called for it to be an ‘integral part’ of the UNESCO General Conference in a 2003 resolution, and its outcomes have formed the basis for draft resolutions by Member States. Alliances with other UN agencies, with academia, civil society, and youth organizations help significantly to leverage the Forum’s outcomes and ensure that its momentum is sustained in the periods between each two-yearly gathering. This publication takes stock of the 6th UNESCO Youth Forum, which marked the tenth year of this unique youth participation process, and the follow-up action towards the 7th UNESCO Youth Forum in 2011. It provides an overview of the UNESCO Youth Forum process and a history of the development of the Youth Forum since its creation in 1999. It then details the preparations and the proceedings of the 6th Youth Forum. Finally it looks to the follow-up of the Forum and to the opportunities for future development. The publication is also intended to present the ways in which the Youth Forum has evolved through targeted innovations and a stronger follow-up process. It also seeks to recognize the cross-sectoral work which is key in the Youth Forum process, by giving credit to all those, both within the Organization and externally, who supported and participated in the Forum. It also builds the case for improved follow-up action and for a joint follow-up process linking the Youth Forum to other global and regional youth events.

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