9th UNESCO Youth Forum puts climate and sustainable development at the top of its agenda

Source:   Date:2015-10-24

Over 500 young people from all over the world are due to meet at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris from 26 to 28 October 2015 to ensure that youth remains top of the agenda ahead of COP21, the UN Climate Change Conference, in the context of the implementation of the new global Sustainable Development Goals.

This year is a key year for Climate Change and Sustainable Development, and with the UNESCO Youth Forum taking place just one month after countries signed up to the SDGs and one month before the future of the environment is determined at COP21, the Forum is a timely reminder that young voices must be heard.

“It is crucial that we take this opportunity to harness the energy of young people as we make the transition from the MDGs to a Sustainable Development Agenda,” said UNESCO’s Director General, Irina Bokova. “By the time we reach the deadline for the SDGs in 2030, the population of young people will have increased by 7%. It is therefore vital that we engage them now if we are to stand a chance of achieving these goals.”

The UNESCO Youth Forum has been taking place since 1999 and has brought together thousands of young people from a very large number of Member States. The Forum is a unique opportunity within the United Nations system to influence the direction of the UN agenda on these critical issues.

At the end of the 3-day Forum, the youth participants will compile a series of recommended action points to be presented to Member States at the UNESCO General Conference, as well as at COP21. These will include recommendations on how UNESCO should move forward with its policies and programs in the thematic areas of Climate Change and Sustainable Development.

Young participants will keep up the pressure by initiating community projects in line with their recommendations. This is vital to ensuring that young participants become the change they wish to see in the world and that the recommendations go beyond the theoretical dimension.