Category Archives: Campaigns

Global Survey of Youth-led Peacebuilding Organizations and Initiatives

UNOY Peacebuilders and Search for Common Ground have been working with the  Secretariat for the Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security to develop a global survey of youth-led peacebuilding organizations and initiatives.

The purpose is to map youth organizations and initiatives building peace and preventing violence, to identify what they are doing, what impact they have made and their needs and goals for the future.

The survey will be one of the key ways of collecting data for the Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security, forming a direct way for young people to have their work represented in the study. It will also be used to create a publicly available database of consenting youth peacebuilding organizations and initiatives.

Does your organization fit the following?

  • Youth-led: The organization or initiative is primarily made up of, and driven by (including leadership positions) young people. Resolution 2250 defines young people as falling within the age range of 18-29 years old, while taking into account the variations of defining the youth that may exist in different contexts.
  • Working on peace and security: Implementing actions that aim to build peace, prevent violence, transform conflict and actively contribute to establish sustainable peace in their community, nation or region.

If so, please take part in the survey!

The survey is composed of 5 sectons which include areas of work and methods, results and impact, challenges and issues, and recommendations. it will take around around 30 min to complete the survey.

If you have any questions about the survey, please write to



It’s World Cities Day!

It’s a World Cities Day! So what are you doing to make your city a better place?


Since 2013, the 31st October is designated to celebrate the world’s cities and draw attention to its opportunities and challenges. In fact, the whole month of October was dedicated to promote better urban future, with Habitat III – the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development as a highlight of the month. The conference brought over 30,000 delegates to the Ecuadorian Capital Quito to discuss the way forward for our cities in the next 20 years and representatives of all the member states who took it upon them to commit to deliver on the newly adopted New Urban Agenda.


But the change and advancement of our cities is not only up to our governments. We young people have equal responsibility to contribute to making our cities more liveable, sustainable, safe and resilient. And how are we going to do it? That’s up to you! There are no “one size fits all” guidelines. The world’s cities are as diverse as our societies, with their unique structures, cultural heritage and vibrant people. They require individual approach that takes into consideration all its special features. It is up to you to be creative and design a plan of action that is doable, smart and impactful.


Motivated? Great! Join the #UrbanAction, a global campaign to encourage young people all over the world to take action in their cities to advance SDGs and support NUA. Sign up and share your ideas, your plan of action, struggles and victories with the others! Inspire them! Motivate them! Join them! Together we can do so much more than on our own! In the spirit of the SDG 17, let’s build unbreakable partnerships between all segments of society and make our urban future better.


Celebrate World #CitiesDay!! UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message

“The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda show how investing in cities advances progress across societies.” – UNSG

The world is celebrating cities — join in!! Following the highly successful Habitat III conference , the world is now focused on how cities can be #Cities4All and a positive force sustainable development and the achievement of both the 2030 Agenda and the NUA.

Please watch UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s World #CitiesDay message.

If you want to get involved please follow us our on Facebook a UN-Habitat Youth, or twitter at @unhabitatyouth, and the #UrbanAction campaign.

Launching #UrbanAction in Quito

In October 2016, the world leaders and representatives of the member states will gather in Quito, Ecuador to adopt the New Urban Agenda, a brand new road map to deal with all urban issues and a guide to achieving SDGs particularly in the urban context. For the first time in history, young people were recognized as stakeholders in the drafting process and are frequently referred to throughout the document. That is why UN-HABITAT wants young people to be placed in the front line of the action that will follow. Acknowledging young people’s enormous potential and capacity, UN-HABITAT works with top global youth networks to ensure that Quito marks the beginning of the youth “#UrbanAction”.


What is #Urban Action?

#UrbanAction is a global campaign calling on young people to actively engage in positive urban development. Youth groups, organizations and individuals alike will be encouraged to design and develop #UrbanAction projects in their city that build on the commitments outlined in the New Urban Agenda, and positively contribute to achieving one (or more) of the SDGs. We aim to implement over 150 youth projects related to New Urban Agenda and SDGs within the first year of NUA adoption.


Why Youth?

Youth represent an essential and dynamic resource. Globally, 85% of the world’s young people live in developing countries and ever-increasing number of them is growing up in cities. We have the largest youth population ever – 1.8 billion young people are below 24 years of age. This is not a small number and as such, youth should be brought on-board as partners and assets.

Youth participation and engagement is the cornerstone of the #UrbanAction, empowering them to increase their level of engagement in local governance and activate their participation in sustainable urban development activities socially, politically and economically. Sustainable development cannot be achieved without significantly transforming the way we build and manage our urban spaces. The success lies in participatory and inclusive approaches that leave no-one behind.


While Quito will mark the launch of the #Urban Action, with first few project ideas implemented, the real work comes after Habitat III is over. Coordinated through the AIESEC international network and other partners, youth all over the world will commit and implement their #UrbanAction projects in their cities, in line with the New Urban Agenda and one (or more) of the SDGs. Join #UrbanAction today!

LATAM Youth Shaping One Latin America for Habitat III


Bogota witnessed something very special on Friday 8th April, 2016. Over 300 young people from the Latin America & the Caribbean region gathered in the Colombian Capital for AIESEC’s Youth Speak Forum, which was organized in partnership with UN-HABITAT and PVBLIC Foundation to bring LATAM youth voices to the discussions around Habitat III and the New Urban Agenda.


The energy in the room was electrifying from the moment the participants strolled in, making the event one not to forget. The whole thing kicked off with a dialogue between Mr. Douglas Ragan, the Chief of Youth Unit, UN-HABITAT and Mr. Sergio Fernandez de Cordova, the Chairman of PVBLIC Foundation and co-founder of P3GM. The gentlemen had an extremely interesting and engaging discussion around the importance of public/private partnerships for global political frameworks, SDGs and 2030 Agenda and building sustainable and resilient cities. What we’ve learned is that the partnerships need to be reinvented with a purpose, if we ever want to achieve anything. The private sector struggles to understand the importance of working for a cause and is thus largely missing on new market opportunities. Although it may not seem so, young people play a critical role in the equation. Public and private sector needs them more than they need them in the battle of social transformation and community development in cities. Therefore, it’s a three-way partnership that we need to look at if we want to make a difference.


Surrounded by inspiring and highly experienced professionals from various backgrounds, the participants had a chance to voice their thoughts and opinions in 12 breakout sessions that were designed to make them discuss different issues young people face in contemporary cities. The outcomes and recommendations from each session were then collected and presented at the end of the day as a draft positioning of LATAM youth towards Habitat III. Completing the statement will take a while but it was clear from the beginning that in order to achieve any enhancement of LATAM cities, mindsets of ordinary people as well as people in power will have to change and communication will have to improve.


With Habitat III in Ecuador fast approaching, we have to continue working together to ensure that young people are not only heard but are present at the negotiations in October. Watch this space for updates what’s next.


The Rise of the Youth 4 Global Goals Campaign


On February 16, 2016 in Marrakesh, Morocco, a new global campaign was born. Created for young people to promote and contribute to achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the campaign will educate, empower and engage youth in the global process. UN-HABITAT joins forces with AIESEC International, PVBLIC Foundation and Asian Development Bank to launch this very important campaign that aims to reach hundreds of thousands young people worldwide and become part of the history.

Unlike with the Millennium Development Goals, young people have an opportunity to play a significant role in achieving SDGs since the very beginning of the process. They have the skills as well as the capacity to plan and deliver, especially because they are not hindered by bureaucracies of governments and large international organizations. Thus, the way the world will be shaped by 2030 depends largely on youth engagement and youth participation in the SDGs projects and initiatives.


In 2016, the campaign has a number of its own ambitious goals. With the help of the founding partners, #Youth4GG wants to reach out to 1,000,000 young people across the world through the Youth Speak Survey. It is important to understand how young people themselves view the world and its challenges, what solutions they propose and what they imagine the world in 2030 to be like. Youth Speak Forums, organized to bring together young and senior leaders from a diverse cross-sectorial background, are held to ensure that young people are not only aware of SDGs, but that they understand the message, the targets and the indicators. Over 15,000 youth leaders are invited to attend the forums in the upcoming months. Lastly, the action. It’s time we walk the talk and shift our focus from the conference halls to action on the ground. 28,000 young people are expected to take an action in 2016, however small or large, to contribute towards achievement of SDGs.

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Urban Youth have to be recognized in any sustainable climate agreement

Good partnerships are worth their weight in gold – and in that sense UN-Habitat´s Youth Unit is a millionaire. For COP21, UN-Habitat has partnered up with two brilliant youth-led partners; the YMCA and the Climate Tracker Initiative. The YMCA is organizing Camp Climate © and UN-Habitat´s Youth Unit is proud to partner with one of the largest youth organizations in the world with more than 58 millions members globally and programs on the ground in more than 118 countries around the world. During COP21, YMCA has been a home away from home for close to 400 youth activists from 43 different countries. There they have been trained on both the issues at stake in the negotiations as well trained on how to influence policy makers and the decision-makers present in Paris. For more information on the work YMCA is doing in Paris, going here would be a good starting point!

So inspired by @unhabitatyouth and @KFUKKFUMGlobal. You are thoughtful and smart, and you will change the world!

Climate Trackers are a ever growing group of young communicators who blog, sketch, design and create communication materials on what is happening at COP. Currently they’ve done upward of 400 articles globally. If you are interested, you can follow some of them on twitter   .

There is no lack of young people participating at the 21st Conference of Parties of the UN´s Framework Convention on climate change (UNFCCC) – popularly known as the COP21 taking place these two weeks in Paris, France. Yet, walking around in the Climate Generation Areas of the COP21 venue seeing all the engaged young people, it is hard not to ask the question whether or not the perspectives of urban youth really impacts the governments negotiating their future. It is the youth in cities who´s going to inherit the planet and sort out the mess left behind by today´s decision-makers.

One thing is clear: cities and local governments hold the key to a sustainable future, and the people who´s going to implement it are the youth. It is hard to see these two stakeholder groups around the table where the agreement is drafted.

To put things in perspective[1]; every second, the total population of world cities grows by two people. Every year, about 6 million people join the other 828 million already living in slums. More than 3 million people in cities die each year of air pollution – that is more than HIV/Aids, malaria and flu combined. And if nothing is done, half of the homes in 21 US cities will be under water by 2100.

Youth and Climate Change

Luckily for this planet, the youth community is not going to sit quietly and idle watching this go by. UN-Habitat is millionaires in two ways – first, we have the coolest mandate of all the UN agencies and secondly, we have the best partners. As the UN agency for sustainable cities and urbanization, we partner with local authorities and cities all over the world enabling them to be safe, inclusive, resilient for all urban citizens. At the same time, we know that in developing countries as much as 50% of the urban population is below the age of 30. That is why youth and youth-led organizations are part of the “gold” we are saving up on. To imagine a sustainable urbanization and a sustainable future without true and meaningful participation of youth-led organizations is, in lack of better words in the middle of December, to believe in Santa Claus.




Your chance to get your voice heard in #HabitatIII!

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 11.33.07Habitat III is the third Habitat agenda conference which will be held in Quito, Ecuador in october 2016. It will set a #NewUrbanAgenda globally, and is likely to have a large impact on how our cities and settlements will look in the future. It is also the first big UN-conference to discuss the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (#SDGs). 

Still figuring out how to get involved with Habitat III? The Habitat III secretariat will continuosly be hosting online dialogues divided into the six thematic areas defined as part of the agenda so far. The six areas are Social Cohesion and Equity, Urban Frameworks,  Spatial Development, Urban Economy, Urban Ecology and Environment and Urban Housing and Basic Services.

For each of the thematic areas, the secretariat has prepared a number of issue papers, discussing the subareas of each theme. These issue papers serve as a god baseline for the discussion, but is by no means a requirement to read the papers in order to get engaged in the discussion. The secretariat is looking for good practices, examples and opinions that can be used as part of the foundation for the New Urban Agenda. 

You can get engaged by creating a profile and start adding comments to each of the thematic areas. Urban issues touches upon so many aspects of young peoples lives, and it is very likely that YOU will have a valuable contribution towards creating a #youth friendly, equitable and inclusive New Urban Agenda. 

The consultations will be announced continuously, stay informed at

Get involved!

International #YouthDay: Join the Twitter discussion!

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On 17 December 1999, in its resolution 54/120, the United Nations General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth (Lisbon, 8-12 August 1998) that 12 August be declared International Youth Day.

The theme of International Youth Day, 12 August 2015, is “Youth Civic Engagement.” The engagement and participation of youth is essential to achieve sustainable human development. Yet often the opportunities for youth to engage politically, economically and socially are low or non-existent.

On this occasion, The UN Secretary General Envoy on Youth is hosting a Twitter chat, where several UN agencies and civil society organisations will join in on the discussion. So can YOU(th)! Check out the schedule for the thematic chats below, and join in!

The hashtags for the event is #YouthNow and #YouthDay

For regular updates from the discussion, follow: @AhmadAlhendawi, @unhabitatyouth @action2015youth, @restlessdev, @myworld, @MToomeyUN, @undp, @undp4youth, @unhabitat, @unfoundation

Thematic twitter discussions: (times are Eastern Standard Time)

9am-9:30am EST   |   A Chat with Youth and Civil Society on Youth Engagement  

  • Youth and civil society organizations chat about Youth Engagement

9:30am-10:00am EST  |   #AskYouthEnvoy: A Chat with the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth

  • Ask the SG’s Envoy on Youth about youth-related issues

1:30pm – 2:00pm EST  |  My World: A Future Defined by 5 Million Young People Globally

  • The My World Survey findings explained and elaborated

2:00pm – 2:30pm EST  |   Youth Civic Engagement and the United Nations

  • How can youth engage in the UN?

2:30pm-3pm EST |  Topic: Youth Mobilization for Global Action and Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

  • How can youth contribute to the implementation of the SDGs?

Log on to and contribute, or simply enhance your knowledge about how youth are and can be drivers of positive change around the globe.