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Youth – Partners: Cooperation with UNESCO National Commissions
Responsible, among others, for facilitating the outreach of the Organization to civil society at the national level, the UNESCO National Commissions are particularly significant actors in mainstreaming the needs of youth within the country.
Cooperation between UNESCO and UNESCO National Commissions is manifold. It may take the form of co-organisation of an event, joint project implementation, consultation for the selection of young participants of the Youth Forums and other activities. Above all, it includes collaboration on ways to involve and integrate young people in the decision-making and working processes of the National Commissions.

Examples of cooperation:

  • Co-organisation of events: the National Commissions have proved to be valuable partners for the organisation of UNESCO Regional Youth Forums. It is beyond any doubt that the Forums’ success is also due to the Commissions’ hard work locally. Given their competence, networks and contacts on a national level, UNESCO National Commissions are indispensable for the preparation of the venues, the logistics and the cultural programme of the Forums, especially in the absence of an UNESCO field Office in the host country. At the same time, their knowledge of the region and their work with national and regional actors can contribute greatly when selecting participants for the Forum.

    UNESCO enjoyed a flawless cooperation with the Cyprus National Commission for UNESCO when co-organizing the UNESCO Euro-Med Youth Forum (Cyprus, 16-19 November 2006) and has prepared the 1st UNESCO Asian Youth Forum, hand-in-hand with the National Commission for UNESCO of the Republic of Korea.

  • Selection of young participants of UNESCO activities:

    Given National Commissions’ key role in ensuring the visibility of UNESCO’s activities and the involvement of all civil society groups in programme development and implementation, they remain an important partner when selecting young delegates for the Youth Forum of the UNESCO General Conference. Ever since the 1st UNESCO Youth Forum, UNESCO National Commissions have been main partners for the nomination of youth delegates to the Forum.

    This model is applied in the Regional Youth Forums, with the additional feature of involving National Youth Councils. This choice is based both on national youth councils’ expertise on youth issues and networking capacity as well as on our firm belief that cooperation between National Commissions and national youth councils could be more than beneficial when it comes to mobilizing and associating young people to such initiatives.

    For more information on the UNESCO Youth Forums, click here.

  • Involvement and integration of young people in the decision-making and working processes of the National Commissions: models of youth participation may take the form of permanent youth board members/representatives, the recruitment of junior staff, formal and informal consultations with local and national youth organisations/associations and the establishment of National Commission Youth Networks.

    Numerous National Commissions such as those in Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, Kenya, New Zealand and Sweden have set up mechanisms for youth involvement and participation. The Canadian National Commission, for example, has created the position of a Junior Programme Officer for Youth Issues.
Learn more about UNESCO National Commissions …

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