UNESCO Youth Forum (as of 4/4/11)

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Youth Forum is a biennial conference that brings together youth from over 80 countries to exchange views and identify shared opportunities to address global problems within UNESCO’s mandate. The outcome from the Forum will be forwarded to the UNESCO General Conference for consideration.

This year, the Youth Forum will be in October at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. The National Commissions for UNESCO may send up to two candidates to represent youth in their home country. At the Forum, youth delegates will be expected to share their experiences and seek ways that UNESCO can promote a better future for youth, within its mandate.


  • Must be a U.S. citizen eligible for foreign travel in mid-October 2011.
  • Must be at least 18 years old and not older than 24 as of October 1, 2011.

We encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply, including those enrolled in community colleges and those not enrolled in academic programs.

The Application Package
To apply, applicants should submit a resume and a written, audio, or video response to the question:

“What is the greatest global challenge facing youth, and how can American youth help to address it?”

  • Resumes should be no longer than one page and should paint an accurate picture of your background and leadership experience, especially on issues facing youth.
  • Written, audio, or video responses should address the question: “What is the greatest global challenge facing youth, and how can American youth help to address it?” Written responses should not exceed 500 words and will be accepted in Microsoft Word (.doc/.docx) or Adobe Reader (.pdf). Video/audio responses should be no longer than 4 minutes and must be uploaded to Youtube. Applicants should provide a link to the video/audio in their application.

All material must be submitted electronically to the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO at DCUNESCO@state.gov no later than May 15, 2011.

Questions regarding the application process or receipt of applications can be directed to DCUNESCO@state.gov or by calling 202-663-0026.

Evaluation Criteria
All applicants will be assessed on three criteria:

Youth Leadership: Youth representatives should be established leaders on issues facing youth within the United States. Representatives should be able to draw upon their own experiences to support their work at the Youth Forum.

Communication: Youth delegates should be able to clearly articulate problems and potential solutions. They should be able to communicate in language that resonates with U.S. and global youth. Youth delegates should also be willing to conduct outreach to U.S. and global youth at large through both traditional and new media.

Collaboration and ability to find common solutions: As representatives of the United States, Youth delegates will work with the State Department’s Office of UNESCO Affairs to develop a set of shared priorities for the Youth Forum. At the forum, youth representatives should be able to collaborate with other representatives to develop recommendations regarding realistic and achievable goals.

Applicants affirm by submitting their application that they are willing to work with the Department of State before, during, and after the Youth Forum:

Prior to the Forum, youth delegates will be expected to consult with youth and youth organizations in the United States to gather their views. Youth delegates will also be expected to work with the Office of UNESCO Affairs to develop priorities for the Youth Forum.

Youth delegates must be available for one week of travel to Paris in October 2011. During the Forum, youth delegates will be expected to represent the best qualities of American youth and to interact with U.S. and global youth through social media. Delegates will be expected to attend all Youth Forum events.

After the Youth Forum, youth delegates will be asked to write a summary of the Youth Forum and discuss their experiences with the Office of UNESCO Affairs.

Only applications complete at the time of the deadline will be considered. A subcommittee of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO, which shall include equal numbers of members of the U.S. National Commission and U.S. youth, will conduct an initial review of applications, conduct phone interviews as needed, and provide recommendations to the U.S. Department of State. Prior to final selection, the Executive Secretariat of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO may conduct phone interviews as needed. The Executive Director of the National Commission in the Office of UNESCO Affairs will determine the final recipient(s). There will be no more than two (2) youth representatives selected.

Terms and Conditions
Applicants retain ownership of written/audio/video responses (the Response). However, by submitting an application for the UNESCO Youth Forum, applicants grant the U.S. Department of State with proper attribution through whatever means they deem appropriate a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sub-licensable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, and prepare derivative works of the Response, in any media formats and through any media channels in perpetuity.