ECOSOC Youth Forum

International Youth Day 2022

Official Commemoration

For International Youth Day 2022, DESA will work with the Major Group on Children and Youth (MGCY) to organize a global webinar for its official commemoration. The webinar will provide an opportunity for stakeholders around the world to exchange views on the topic of intergenerational solidarity, intergenerational equity, future generations, and ageism. 

To ensure inclusivity, the webinar will feature speakers from civil society, while ensuring age, regional and gender representation. Special consideration will be given to youth at the intersection of multiple vulnerable situations. Additionally, public institutions will be invited to share examples of efforts they are putting in place to promote intergenerational dialogue and combat ageism at the local, national, or international levels. 

To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the world needs to leverage the full potential of all generations. Solidarity across generations is key for sustainable development. We must collaborate to foster successful and equitable intergenerational relations and partnerships to ensure “no one is left behind.” While intergenerational solidarity and concern for future generations is being called for in tackling global issues – with the UN Secretary-General recently putting forward new recommendations on renewed intergenerational solidarity, including in Our Common Agenda – many challenges remain. 

Ageism continues to present a significant – yet, not sufficiently discussed – challenge to fostering collaboration and solidarity across age groups. The World Health Organization defines ageism as “the stereotypes (how we think), prejudice (how we feel) and discrimination (how we act) directed towards others or oneself, based on age.” Ageism is an insidious and often an unaddressed issue in health, human rights and development, and has bearings on both older and younger populations around the world. In addition, ageism regularly intersects with other forms of bias (such as racism and sexism) and impacts people in ways that prevent them to reach their full potential and comprehensively contribute to their community.


In this context, the objective of this year’s International Youth Day theme, Intergenerational solidarity: Creating a World for All Agesis to amplify the message that action is needed across all generations to achieve the SDGs and leave no one behind. The 2022 International Youth Day will also raise awareness on certain barriers to intergenerational solidarity, notably ageism, which impacts young and old persons, while having detrimental effects on society as a whole. 

This theme builds on the momentum from two side events organized by UNDESA and partners earlier this year on 1) ageism in health and employment and 2) ageism in politics on the margins of the 60th Commission for Social Development and the 11th edition of the ECOSOC Youth Forum, respectively. 

To learn more about how and why the UN commemorates International Youth Day, visit


CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the co-chairs at or For more information on the NGO Committee on Children’s Rights-NY, please visit For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at or For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit

ECOSOC Youth Forum SDG4 Breakout Session: Youth Engagement in Transforming Education

ECOSOC Youth Forum SDG4 Breakout Session:

Youth Engagement in Transforming Education

Education is key in driving progress across all SDGs and enabling young people to prepare for entry into the workforce and actively engage on critical social and environmental issues that affect them. The prolonged and repeated class and school closures during 2020 and 2021 have resulted in leaving many of the education-related targets of the SDGs well off track. This global learning crisis is depriving hundreds of millions of children and young people of their right to quality education with increased drop-out rates, disproportionately impacting the most vulnerable and marginalized students and young people, particularly girls. Investments in education improve health outcomes, build human capital, reduce poverty and inequality, combat violence and extremism, and boost earnings. Yet confronted with young and growing populations, high rates of poverty and inequality – and compounded by the impacts of COVID-19 –many governments in lower-income countries lack the resources they need to get all children in school and learning.

In addition, COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the risks that arise when young people do not have access to (technological) resources and the appropriate education and training to unlock their innovative potential. As digital technologies continue to open up a world of new opportunities, many youth from lower income countries still require access to the internet as well as the right skill-set necessary to leverage new digital technologies to improve their livelihoods and solve urgent social, economic and environmental challenges at community level. Education institutions and professional development initiatives need to equip young people with transferable skills, offer apprenticeships and mentorship opportunities, as well as foster innovative spirit to keep up with the needs of the changing job market. For young people to seize the benefits of the new digital era ahead, providing resilient and high-quality education environments where innovation, best practices and creativity are nurtured need to become an integral part of new learning ecosystems.

Within this context, the ECOSOC Youth Forum SDG4 Breakout session will highlight the role of youth engagement in enhancing the quality of formal and informal education. The skills and knowledge that young people need to effectively contribute to human rights, sustainable development, a culture of peace and non-violence, respect for diversity and global citizenship will be discussed, as well as challenges and opportunities to develop and deliver related educational programmes. This session will provide a safe space for young people to share their perspectives on how to transform education amidst ongoing crises. Through an interactive dialogue, youth representatives will identify recommendations for the future of education and learning, including as part of the overall consultations on the Transforming Education Summit to be held in September 2022.

Main Expected Outcomes
Primary outcomes:

 Raise awareness on youth and student priorities to ensure that education systems are inclusive,
future-proof, sustainable, safe, and backed by education policy, financing, and infrastructure
 Raise awareness about existing youth-led solutions that are transforming informal and formal
 Discuss and propose strategies to strengthen youth engagement during planning processes,
consultations, implementation, validation, and reviewing procedures relating to improving
quality education
Secondary outcomes:
 Existing youth and student organisations and affiliations and youth-led solutions are provided
opportunities to gain support through sustainable funding and resourcing
 Youth and students are invited by member states in intergenerational dialogues to shape
national education commitments.

Connection details
This event will take place in English and will be entirely virtual. Please register here to participate. The
event will also be livestreamed on UN Web TV.
For more information please visit the SDG4 Breakout session dedicated webpage.

Moderator: Ulises Brengi, SDG4Youth Network Transforming Education Summit Youth
1:30 – 1:35 Introduction of the session
1:35 – 1:50 Opening Remarks

Sobhi Tawil, Director of Future of Learning and Innovation, UNESCO
Loes van der Graaf, Education Focal Point, MGCY
Screening of the video “Start acting by learning for our planet”

1:50 – 2:50 Young Voices on Transforming Education

Noella Bidikukeba Ilunga, President of DAFI Club in Zambia
Melissa Diamond, Founder and Executive Director of A Global Voice for Autism

Guncha Annageldiyeva, International Coordinator of Communication at Y-PEER Network

Andres Allan Sanchez Osorio, Honorary President and Founder of Fundación Efecto Valores
Selin Ozunaldim, Youngest representative of UN Women’s global gender equality movement HeForShe in Turkey
Smriti Khemka, Member of the Global Youth As Researchers (YAR) Learning Team
Asimawu Tahiru, Global Partnership for Education (GPE) Youth Leader
Muhammad Sarim Raza, Youth Leader at UNCTAD

Hao Jingfang, Chinese Youth Representative
Mariya Badeva, Bulgarian Youth Representative

02:50 – 02:55 Interactive moment

Attendees will share their views on transforming education through an
online tool
02:55 – 03:00 Closing Remarks

Armel Azihar, SDG4Youth Transforming Education Summit Youth Advisor


ECOSOC Youth Forum 2021 [10th Anniversary]

The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum will be held on 7 and 8 April 2021. The modalities of participation will depend on the evolving spread of COVID-19 and its impact on travel restrictions as well as considerations on the safety, health and wellbeing of participants.

The Forum provides a global platform for a candid dialogue among Member States and young leaders from around the world on solutions to challenges affecting youth wellbeing. It also serves as a unique space for young people to share their vision and actions as well as to provide youth perspectives on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.

The 2021 Forum’s discussions will be guided by the overall theme of the 2021 ECOSOC and HLPF: “Sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, that promotes the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development: Building an inclusive and effective path for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda in the context of the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development”. Consideration will also be given to the group of SDGs decided by Member States for in-depth discussions at the 2021 HLPF, namely, SDGs 1, 2, 3, 8, 10, 12, 13, 16 and 17.

As more specific information becomes available, it will be available here:


CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Children’s Rights, please email the co-chair at  . For more information on the NGO Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit