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Become a UN Youth Delegate 2024-2025(Open to all youth in United Nations member states)

Become a UN Youth Delegate 2024-2025(Open to all youth in United Nations member states)

In a striking display of commitment to youth involvement, Secretary General Antonio Guterres recently joined a group photo with the Youth Delegates attending the 74th Session of the General Assembly. This gesture underscores the significance the United Nations places on integrating the voices of young people into its decision-making processes.

At the forefront of this endeavor is the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), serving as the hub for the UN’s youth-focused initiatives. Within DESA, the Division for Inclusive Social Development, Programme on Youth Unit, spearheads the UN Youth Delegate Programme on a global scale. This initiative aligns closely with the UN’s emphasis on youth participation in decision-making, a pivotal aspect of its agenda.

The UN Youth Delegate Programme offers an avenue for youth to engage directly with the United Nations. One prominent facet of this involvement is through the inclusion of youth delegates within a country’s official delegation to the United Nations General Assembly and various functional Commissions of the Economic and Social Council. Member States shoulder the responsibility of establishing and managing their respective youth delegate programmes, selecting representatives who will articulate the perspectives and concerns of young people on the international stage.

The roles assumed by youth delegates may vary from country to country, but typically involve providing insights on youth-related issues to their delegations and actively participating in their delegation’s proceedings. This could entail attending meetings, engaging in informal negotiations, and contributing to the formulation of policies and resolutions.

Participation in the UN Youth Delegate Programme grants young individuals the opportunity to partake in several intergovernmental meetings at the United Nations. While most youth delegates participate in the General Assembly, some also engage in functional Commissions of the Economic and Social Council, broadening their scope of involvement within the UN system.

Becoming a Youth Delegate: A Pathway to Influence

For those aspiring to become youth delegates, the journey entails navigating through established channels within their respective countries. Some nations already have frameworks in place for selecting youth delegates, facilitated by government bodies such as Ministries of Foreign Affairs, National Youth Councils, or United Nations Associations. Prospective delegates can reach out to these entities to inquire about existing programmes.

In cases where a country lacks a formal youth delegate programme, individuals are tasked with advocating for its establishment. This involves persuading national authorities on the importance of including a youth representative within the UN delegation. Collaborating with existing youth organizations can amplify these efforts, leveraging collective voices to drive policy change.

Key steps in this process include:

  1. Determining the existence of a youth delegate programme in the country and understanding the application process if available.
  2. Lobbying for the creation of a youth delegate programme, potentially by partnering with youth-focused organizations.
  3. Utilizing resources like the United Nations Guide to the Youth Delegate Programme to support advocacy efforts.
  4. Engaging with relevant government officials, such as Ministers of Foreign Affairs or Youth, to champion the cause.
  5. Garnering endorsements from influential figures across government and civil society spheres.
  6. Upon acceptance of the proposal and establishment of a selection process, applying for the position of youth delegate.

Expanding Horizons: Youth Delegates in Action

Youth delegates play a pivotal role in various UN conferences and forums, amplifying youth perspectives on critical global issues. Their participation extends to platforms such as the General Assembly, the Commission for Social Development, and the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

In the General Assembly, youth delegates contribute to discussions on social, cultural, and humanitarian matters, with a dedicated focus on youth-related issues. Similarly, the Commission for Social Development addresses themes like poverty, employment, and social integration, recognizing the integral role of youth in social development.

Moreover, youth delegates actively engage in the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, advancing the agenda of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Their involvement underscores the imperative of youth participation in shaping sustainable development policies and initiatives at both national and global levels.


The UN Youth Delegate Programme stands as a beacon of empowerment, providing young individuals with a platform to influence global discourse and decision-making. By championing youth voices, the United Nations reaffirms its commitment to inclusive governance and sustainable development. As aspiring youth delegates step forward to seize this opportunity, they pave the way for a more inclusive, equitable, and prosperous future for all.