Everything you need to know about the World Conference on Youth

29 April 2014

World Conference Youth Logo

The World Conference on Youth will take place this year from  6-10 May 2014 in Sri Lanka.

The purpose of the conference is to produce the outcome document – the Colombo Declaration on youth – which will be fed directly into the UN General Assembly in September.

See the draft Colombo Declaration on Youth and more information on the UN General Assembly (UNGA).

What is the World Conference on Youth?

Young people from all around the world will come together and discuss priorities for youth in the Post-2015 agenda. This conference aims to bring together young women and young men from all over the world with a special focus on under-represented youth in the current agenda (the Millennium Development Goals) with a gender and regional balance. This years World Conference on Youth is especially unique in the fact that it is the first time governments and young people will aim to negotiate a joint outcome document. It is expected that each UN member state will take part with a delegation which may include ministerial representation. At least two youth delegates will be representing each state.

Why does WAGGGS go?

WAGGGS is a member of the International Youth Task Force, with leader Anush Aghabalyan, Head of Advocacy, going to represent us as an international youth-led and youth-serving organisation. Anush, along with other delegates which were chosen by Sri Lanka and not through our usual application process, will be at the conference in order to ensure we have a decision-making role in outlining the programme and thematic areas of the Conference. This means we can ensure the voice of girls and young women are included at every level.

The World Conference on Youth 2014 is the biggest global youth event in the next two years. As the leading organization for girls and young women in the world, WAGGGS needs to be there to ensure the voices of girls are heard.

Our participation will open up opportunities for young women and our Member Organizations in other events related to youth and the global develpoment agenda. 

What happens at the conference?


Each day there will be a negotiating session between minister/ministries and youth negotiators. For the first time in history young people will not only be able to input into the discussions, but they will be treated like a member state and hold a veto, which the two youth negotiators will organise with young peoples at the conference. 

Round Table discussions

Each day negotiators will meet with facilitators and rapporteur of the round tables to receive the latest feedback of the thematic discussions.

Regional Meetings

Daily regional meetings will be held where the latest update of the negotiations will be presented and allow regions to take positions to feed back to the lead youth negotiators. 

What will WAGGGS be campaigning for?

WAGGGS will be campaigning for the recommendations as outlined in the Colombo Declaration on Youth, but will focus primarily what we campaigned for at CSW 58 which is:

  • The needs of 'girls' are addressed in the text, as well as young women
  • non-formal education is recognised as an effective mechanism for development and is necessary alongside all levels of education to ensure young people are prepared for the labour market.
  • That attitudes, stereoptypes and social norms are recognised as preventing girls and young women from having equal opportunities and realising their rights
  • That gender equality needs to be addressed in the post-2015 development agenda through a standalone goal with specific targets, including one on gender-based violence
  • That gender equality goals and targets address the structural causes of gender inequality 
  • that human rights language is strong throughout

How can you get involved?MY World Gender Equality

During the week of conference, MY World is having a global vote! Use this link and vote for Gender Equality. Right now it is coming in at 4th and below!
You can also sign up to the MY World Thunderclap to encourage others to vote.
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, check out our delegates profiles and read their blog to see how negotiations are coming along.