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  • © UNESCO/Bassam Jamalelddine
  • Lycée Zéhrié, teaching dialogue, tolerance and peace

"All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth"

"Youth mainstreaming" denotes a process for a meaningful engagement and broad integration of young people into structures and activities of social development on a daily basis. It requires consistent, committed youth-adult cooperation at every level, where young people are recognized as equal and valuable partners. A youth mainstreaming approach aims to support young people to fulfil their roles effectively and to take their right place in the society. In practical terms, it means that all programme sectors of UNESCO take youth into account at all stages from programme planning to reporting, through monitoring and evaluation.

UNESCO associated young men and women with its work worldwide. For the next medium-term strategy 2008-2013, the Organisation demonstrates and reinforces its commitment towards youth by taking targeted and sustained actions in all its spheres (cf. Document 34C/4).
In education, for example, through the Associated Schools Project network or Mondialogo project, in sciences by assisting young scientists in their research or through the specific Youth Visioning for Island Living project, in culture by contributing to mutual understanding through the Young Digital Creators project, in communication through Infoyouth international information and data exchange network on youth.

The strategy for UNESCO’s action with and for youth, which is guided by the
World Programme of Action for Youth to the year 2000 and beyond (UN General Assembly 1995), recognises governance, programming,policy development, advocacy, and monitoring as complementary functions aimed at the empowerment of youth. As the main springboard for exchange between young people and UNESCO, the UNESCO Youth Forum is a unique space for debate (no equivalent exists in the United Nations system) where young people from all over the world can formulate recommendations for integration into UNESCO programmes and activities. In 2003, this Youth Forum became an integral part of the UNESCO General Conference, held every two years.

The Bureau of Strategic Planning promotes youth issues with the Section for Youth, Sport and Physical Education of the Social and Human Sciences Sector of UNESCO, youth-focal points at Headquarters and in Field Offices, and staff being involved in projects relating to youth. Outside of UNESCO, the Organisation’s main partners are youth international and regional NGOs. In this context, the Joint Programmatic Commission on Youth of the NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee unites international youth NGOs in official relations with UNESCO. This cooperation extends as well to existing UNESCO mechanisms at the national and local levels, such as the global network of National Commissions and UNESCO Clubs and Centres. UN Youth and other UN structures, intergovernmental organisations, different civil society actors and private sector are also important partners for the Organisation.

Europe and North America Latin America and the Caribbean Africa Arab States Asia Pacific