Young men and women across the globe have the creativity, the capacity and the potential to change the world, for themselves and for the society. The aim of the programmes promoted by UNESCO is to enhance the contribution of young people in the progress of the society.

According to the definition given by the UN, people between the ages of 15 and 24 years of age are considered as youth. However, UNESCO gives a wider definition to the term youth, using different terms, according to the context and the country we refer to.


About the programme

UNESCO aims at contributing to the emancipation of young people, meeting them, finding solutions to their problems and listening to their ideas, so that they can develop the capacities and know-how needed.

UNESCO encourages: 

  • The participation of young women and men in UNESCO and its various networks and partner organizations, to open up opportunities for all to listen to and engage in dialogue.
  • Partnerships between UNESCO and young people’s networks and organizations, to solicit and integrate their views and priorities and collaborate with them in setting up projects and programmes in the areas of the Organization’s competence.
  • The integration of youth concerns and issues into the policy agendas of Member States in education, the sciences, culture and communication, in order to create spaces and opportunities for empowering young people and giving recognition, visibility and credibility to their contributions.


UNESCO and Youth

Today, more than ever, young women and men are change-makers, building new realities for themselves and their communities. Young people across the world look for new opportunities to learn and contribute to the creation of a better future. 

UNESCO recognizing that, and considering this as an important work for young people, designed the Operational Strategy on Youth (2014-2021), which is the result of a long process and cooperation between Member States and young people.


The strategy 

Covering a period of eight years, the Strategy provides with a framework of development and creation of cooperation between youth organisations and youth-related stakeholders. It is based on the fact that young people are the key factors in building a future of peace.

The Strategy of the Organisation puts forward three axes of work that incorporate all of the fields of action of UNESCO:

1. Policy formulation and review with the participation of youth;

2. Capacity development for the transition to adulthood;

3. Civic engagement and democratic participation and social innovation.

The Operational Strategy of UNESCO for Youth is defined by the Conventions formulated during the 8th Youth Forum.