International Agreements

International commitments to Adolescents and Youth

Major international conventions and consensus agreements that guide UNFPA

Youth forums and declarations

The following youth forums and declarations are examples of young people making a difference in UN-sponsored events and global dialogues. More information on these activities, and how to participate in them can be obtained from the UN Youth Unit.

Cairo Youth Declaration, 1994. More than 100 young women and men from all regions of the world participated in the International NGO Youth Consultation on Population and Development.

World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and beyond. United Nations 1995. An international strategy to address more effectively the problems of young people and to increase opportunities for their participation in society.

Braga World Youth Forum, Third Session of the World Youth Forum of the United Nations, Braga, Portugal, August 1998. The main objective was to strengthen mechanisms for cooperation between the United Nations system, other inter-governmental organizations and youth organizations based on the goal of Youth Participation for Human Development. The reproductive health of young people was one of the issues of focus. The "Braga Youth Plan of Action", endorsed by the United Nations Secretary General, called UNFPA to give greater support to national youth policies and programmes within its country programmes.

Dakar Youth Empowerment Strategy, Fourth Session of the World Youth Forum of the United Nations, Dakar, Senegal,August 2001. The main purpose of the forum was the empowerment of youth to participate more effectively in every aspect of society. The Darker Youth Empowerment Strategy created a concrete set of recommendations for the empowerment of youth. During the forum, a special annex of HIV/AIDS was adopted indicating the commitment and dedication of youth around the globe to addressing the issue of HIV/AIDS.

Copenhagen Youth Declaration at the World Summit on Social Development. At the 1995 World Summit for Social Development, the needs of young men and women, and the importance of youth participation were central. The Youth Declaration addressed the importance of youth rights as an integral element of basic human rights. The declaration includes the following issues: youth policy, young women, education, racism and xenophobia, health (sexual and reproductive health), employment, population, economy, environment, sustainable development and global governance.

Regional charters and action plans


The African Youth Charter, endorsed by the African Union Heads of State in July 2006 provides the first-ever legal framework for youth development at the regional level since inception of the organization in 1964. The African Youth Charter highlights, among other things: youth responsibilities and participation in implementation of the charter;  education and skills development; poverty eradication, sustainable livelihoods and youth employment; health, including sexual and reproductive health and HIV; prevention of drugs and substance abuse; peace and security; youth and culture; elimination of discrimination against girls and young women; and harmful traditional practices.  The Charter provides a regional framework for its implementation of the within countries, regions and institutions.

The Fifth Africa Development Forum (ADF-V), which took place in 2006 Addis Ababa focused on Youth and Leadership in the 21st Century took place from 16-18 November 2006 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The consensus statement drafted at the end of the conference recommended that national governments take detailed and specific actions on strengthening youth capacity and promoting youth participation and empowerment.


The Beijing Declaration of the Ministers Responsible for Youth of the Association of South East Asian Nations and the People’s Republic of China on ASEAN-China Cooperation on Youth was endorsed inf September 2004 by ministers from Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam. The declaration was signed as a result of the collaboration of the ministers to address shared concerns for promoting peace in the region. The declaration acknowledges the role of youth as major contributors to social change; empowerment of young people through education and technology; poverty reduction through sustainable economic development.  

The Koror Statement on Youth Empowerment for a Secure, Prosperous and Sustainable Future was adopted on 18 November 2005 at the 4th Meeting of the Conference of the Pacific Community. The statement reaffirms the vision of investing in young people and acknowledges that the continued and collaborative efforts of the member countries of the Secretariat of Pacific Countries, NGOs, faith-based organizations, regional and international agencies are essential in order to address the problems associated with the rapid demographic shift of the youth in the region.

The Pacific Youth Charter was endorsed by youth from 25 countries and territories of the Pacific in July 2006. The Charter reflects nine vital themes for regional development. These include the role of young people in addressing the impact of good governance, the importance of active citizenship, access to adequate education and training, equal employment opportunities/professional growth, their role in sustainable development, emphasizing the importance of cultural diversity, access to basic health services, equal opportunities that will enhance the goals of young people and above all, the promotion of a peaceful co-existence.