Director-General’s call to youth everywhere: “Take control. Speak up and speak out”


On 29 October 2013, the UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova opened the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum, which will take place from 29 to 31 October 2013 at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France.

The Youth Forum brings together 500 young women and men from over 150 countries, in order to exchange views, to share experiences, to reflect together and to identify common concerns and problems.

“The world needs your ideas, your vision more than ever before,” stated the Director-General “You are not the subjects of change – you are its greatest leaders.”

In her address, Irina Bokova appealed to all Youth Forum delegates:

“Take control. Speak up and speak out. Be bold and be audacious.”

The 8th UNESCO Youth Forum will be more interactive than previous editions, and focus on supporting concrete projects. Delegates will be invited to identify 15 Action Projects (three per region), from amongst 45 projects shortlisted by an international jury, as a result of a call by UNESCO to youth organizations from around the world in July and August.

The Youth Forum will feature also a range of interactive workshops and side events, including also the award ceremony for the UNESCO / Juan Bosch Prize for the Promotion of Social Science Research in Latin America and the Caribbean, presented by the Director-General to the young researcher Karen Nathalia Cerón Steevens from Columbia. In addition, the Youth Forum will hold a concert by the Finnish sign language rap artist "Signmark".