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UNESCO Youth Forums in 2007 and 2005
The 2007 UNESCO Youth Forum: UNESCO Paris, 12-13 October 2007

Held just before the 34th General Conference of the Organization, this year’s Youth Forum will give its young participants the opportunity to evaluate the series of regional youth forums and contribute to the work of the two Ministerial Roundtables that will take place during the General Conference, on:
  • Education and economic development and
  • The contribution of science and technology to sustainable development – the role of UNESCO

Bridging the inevitable gap between young people and a highly complex international organisation with its many partners and networks proves to be a challenging task: the UNESCO Youth Forum, an integral part of the Organisation’s General Conference, has emerged as a very important tool in this respect.

UNESCO’s General Conference, the Organisation’s highest decision-making body, meets every two years at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris (in September / October). Representatives of all the Member States assemble and decide on UNESCO’s general orientation and budget for the following two years. The UNESCO Youth Forum, held a few days before the General Conference kicks off, brings together young delegates from all over the world to exchange views, share experiences, reflect together and, above all, detect common preoccupations and problems. This means that young people have the opportunity to make their voices heard by the General Conference, and that way, to contribute to its work.

The first UNESCO Youth Forum was held at the 30th General Conference (1999), and since then the Forums have gone from strength to strength. The young delegates spend three to four days in plenary sessions and working groups, and they produce a final report that sums up all of their deliberations. This report is then presented at the opening plenary session of the General Conference, allowing for the young delegates’ views, concerns and recommendations to be taken into account by the representatives of the Member States and the UNESCO Secretariat at the General Conference. In recognition of its importance, the 2003 General Conference voted to make the Youth Forum a permanent feature of the UNESCO General Conference.

The Report of the UNESCO General Conference Youth Forum (2007)

The 2005 UNESCO Youth Forum

The most recent UNESCO Youth Forum (the fourth edition) was held from the 30th of September to the 2nd of October 2005 in UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. It preceded the 33rd General Conference, and brought together 237 participants with 189 delegates from 129 countries and 48 observers from international youth networks, governments and National Commissions for UNESCO.

Visit the dedicated 2005 UNESCO Youth Forum website

The theme of the 2005 Forum was 'Young People and the Dialogue among Civilisations, Cultures and Peoples - Ideas for action in education, the sciences, culture and communication’. As at previous Forums, the participants discussed ideas for action in education, the sciences, culture and communication and information, youth-led and youth-targeted action to promote dialogue in plenary sessions and working groups.

The Youth Forum Report, adopted after three days of intense debate and introduced at the opening plenary of the General Conference, outlined the young delegates’ recommendations and proposals for youth-driven action to encourage and support dialogue at all levels of society. The report strongly recommended that preparatory regional UNESCO Youth Forums should take place in 2006-2007, on ‘Young People and the Dialogue among Civilizations, Cultures and Peoples’, with a specific focus on ‘Education for Sustainable Development’ and ‘Intercultural and Interfaith Dialogue to ensure Peace.’
Back to UNESCO Youth Forum(s).

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