Youth empowerment

Youth in MontenegroVoluntary Talk Session for International Volunteer Day in Kosovo* organized by UNV and UNDP | Photo: © Lirak Mulliqi/UNDP Kosovo*

In response to the worldwide phenomenon of young men and women calling for meaningful civic, economic, social and political participation, UNDP’s Youth Strategy 2014-2017 recognizes the involvement of young men and women in participatory decision-making and development processes as vital to achieving sustainable human development. Identifying development challenges and issues facing youth today, the strategy offers recommendations for strategic entry points and engagement of a broad range of partners in addressing youth empowerment.

UNDP has been providing extensive support to national policy development and implementation in the five regions, through the provision of evidence-based policy guidance and programmatic support and by promoting active participation of youth, including the most marginalized and vulnerable in all spheres of society.

UNDP supports the capacity development of young people and youth-led organizations, and the development of youth caucuses in government, parliament and other bodies. We engage with relevant stakeholders through outreach, advocacy, thought leadership, global networks, and policy debates, in particular in the context of the post-2015 development agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. We also support the mainstreaming of youth issues in development planning and inter-ministerial and inter-sectorial coordination.

After serving as co-chair of the UN Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development (IANYD) from March 2015 to March 2016, UNDP continues to play an active role in IANYD as co-lead of the UN System-Wide Action Plan on Youth task team, co-chair of the UN Working group on Youth and 2030 Agenda and of the Working Group on Youth Political Inclusion and Civic Engagement.

UNDP promotes:

  • inclusive youth participation in effective and democratic governance;
  • economic empowerment of youth and;
  • strengthened youth engagement in building resilience in their communities;
  • inclusion of youth in the future development agenda, including through consultations and discussions.

In July 2016, UNDP launched its first Youth Global Programme for Sustainable Development and Peace – Youth-GPS (2016-2020), a 5-year global programmatic offer on youth empowerment - more on Youth-GPS.


* References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999)

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