Hundreds of youth to gather at United Nations, demanding progress on sustainable development

ECOSOC Youth Forum, New York City, 8 to 9 April 2019

New York, 8 April—Nearly 1,000 youth advocates from around the world are expected to meet with government ministers and officials at the United Nations this month to advance the role of young people in implementing of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Youth Forum, hosted by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and co-organized by the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, is the largest gathering of young people at the organization. It is taking place as today’s generation of young people, the largest the world has ever known, are leading changes all over the world, demanding that their leaders take action to make the world more sustainable.

Today, there are 1.2 billion young people, between the ages of 15 and 24, making up 16 per cent of the global population. Most of them live in developing countries. Millions of them do not have access to quality education, decent work or other opportunities to realize their full potential. Many continue to face uncertainties due to conflicts, economic variability, climate change, and rising inequalities.

This year’s Forum, the first since the launch of UN Youth Strategy by Secretary-General António Guterres in September 2018, aims to focus on ways to empower, include and ensure equal opportunities for young people. The Strategy seeks to strengthen the efforts of the UN System and stakeholders to place young people at the front and centre of the global development agenda.

Main Speakers at the Forum include:

• Ms. Inga Rhonda King, President of ECOSOC
• Ms. María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the General Assembly
• Mr. António Guterres, UN Secretary-General
• Mr. Liu Zhenmin, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs
• Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth
• Ms. Yolanda Joab, Founder of Island PRIDE
• Mr. Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labour Organization
• Mr. Achim Steiner, Administrator of the UN Development Programme
• Mr. Mridul Upadhyay, Founder of Youth for Peace International
• Ms. Noura Berrouba, Member of the Governing Body, European Youth Parliament
• Mr. Rakoen Maertens, NGO Delegate to the UN, World Esperanto Youth Organization

What: 8th UN ECOSOC Youth Forum 2019 and SDG Media Zone

When: 8 to 9 April 2019

Where: UN Youth Forum: Trusteeship Council Chamber, UN Headquarters
SDG Media Zone: UN Visitors’ Lobby, UN Headquarters

The Forum’s programme, list of speakers and supporting documents are available here: The Forum will be streamed live on UN WebTV:

On the sidelines of the two-day Forum, the UN Department of Global Communications and its partners will host an SDG Media Zone – a dynamic platform for youth voices – featuring live discussions, interviews and presentations as well as interactive exhibits showcasing the UN System’s work with and for young people.

Participants include Sobel Ngom, Founder of the Social Change Factory; Noura Berrouba from the European Youth Parliament; Thania Peck, Founder of Catcher in the Style; Artist and Activist Ari Afsar; Egypt Ify Ufele, Founder of Bully Chasers as well as representatives from Gap Inc, H&M Group and Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation.

UN Agencies will showcase exhibits and campaigns on issues affecting young people including migration, modern slavery, the future of work, disarmament and more.

More information on the SDG Media Zone, including the programme and a live stream of the events, will be available here soon:

To attend the Forum and the SDG Media Zone, please visit UN Media Accreditation:

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Media contacts:
UN Department of Public Information
Devi Palanivelu |+1 917 495 5424 |
Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth
Nicholas Ceolin | +1 917 367 8575 |
UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Paul Simon | +1 917 367 5027 |