Establishing a United Nations Youth Delegate Programme

Participation in decision-making is one of the key priority areas of the United Nations agenda on youth. One form of youth participation at the United Nations is through the inclusion of youth delegates in a country’s official delegation to the United Nations General Assembly and various functional Commissions of the Economic and Social Council.

The UN delegate programme is coordinated by the Focal Point on Youth at the global level, but it is the responsibility of the Member States to establish a youth delegate programme at the national level, and to decide who will represent the young people of their country. The roles of a youth representative varies from country to country, but normally includes providing input to their delegation on issues related to youth and participate in their delegation’s general work through attending meetings and informal negotiations.

Youth delegates can participate in several intergovernmental meetings at the United Nations. Most official youth delegates participate in the General Assembly, but some also attend functional Commissions of the Economic and Social Council.

Out of 193 UN member states, less than 30 member states have a Youth Delegate Programme in place, even though the UN General Assembly has repeatedly called on member states to consider including youth representatives in their delegations to the UN General Assembly and to other important UN meetings (first starting in 1981: A/RES/36/17). With the adoption of the World Programme of Action for Youth (WPAY, A/RES/50/81) in 1995, UN member states have once again contributed to increase youth participation at international level. The WPAY invites member states to send youth representatives along with their delegations to the General Assembly, and hence to involve youths in decision-making processes.

The United Nations Association of Germany (UNA Germany) has announced the call for applications for a workshop on Establishing a United Nations Youth Delegate Programme in Countries of the Global South.

The workshop will support 6 to 8 young people from countries of the Global South with an active UNA/UNYA but without a UN Youth Delegate Programme in starting a UN Youth Delegate Programme in their respective countries.

This workshop will support young people to be agents of change. The goal is to empower them to be active global citizens contributing to building a world of justice, equity, and dignity.


Youth Country Project Kenya. UN Youth Delegate Programme. Retrieved from

DGVN (2016). Call for Applications: “Establishing a UN Youth Delegate Programme in countries of the Global South. Retrieved from