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UN Youth Opportunities #YouthOps



As an ambitious young professional, you are not limited not just by your age to have an experience with the United Nations. As a young professional, there are several ways to build-up your career in the UN system; ranging from internship in UN agencies, becoming a UN Youth Volunteer, individual contractor/consultant positions which eventually leads to permanent staff positions. Additionally, there are also annual youth forums and conferences held each year specifically by and for young people.

The United Nations, for statistical purposes, defines 'youth', as those persons between the ages of 15 and 24 years, without prejudice to other definitions by Member States. How about Indonesia?. The Indonesian government defines young people as those between the ages of 16-30 and accounts for 65 million of the entire Indonesian population.


There are numerous means through which you can contribute to our work in serving youth around the world. You can, as an example establish a youth delegate programme, form or get involved with your local United Nations Youth Association (UNYA), formulate and evaluate national youth policies, register your NGO, and much more.

There are several (actually, 6 ways) that you can participate in UN opportunities and events, regardless of your age:

1. Youth Delegate: Youth delegates can participate in several intergovernmental meetings at the United Nations. Most official youth delegates participate in the General Assembly, but some also attend functional Commissions of the Economic and Social Council. Youth Delegates are normally appointed by Ministries of the Member States under formal appointments.

2. UN Youth Volunteers: UN Youth Volunteers are between 18 and 29 years old, and work with UN agencies on the frontlines of political, developmental and humanitarian operations. As a UN Youth Volunteer, you will help advance peace and sustainable development either in your own country or in another country around the globe. You will help people to lead healthier and safer lives and communities to be able to better address present and future challenges.

3. United Nations Youth Assembly: With the aim of amplifying youth voices at the global stage, The Youth Assembly’s legacy began at the United Nations in the early 2000’s. Every year, the Youth Assembly provides young individuals regardless of their age to participate in a multicultural dialogue and gather together in the halls of the UNHQ in New York and meet other likeminded leaders. The Youth Assembly happens twice each year; early February (Winter Assembly) and August (Summer Assembly).

4. UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network for Youth (UN SDSN Youth): SDSN Youth educates young people about the Sustainable Development Goals and provides opportunities for them to pioneer innovative solutions to address the world's biggest challenges. They usually have a rolling application for their fellows and associate program for 3 months which they also provide a stipend. UN SDSN Youth also have a regional satellite office in Jakarta.

5. Youth Forums: Every year the Youth Forum, held annually by ECOSOC since 2012, brings youth into discussions on the Millennium Development Goals and the post-2015 development agenda. It offers a unique opportunity for youth to voice their opinions, share ideas, and think together about what they can do to achieve sustainable development.

6. UN Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development: is a network consisting of UN entities, represented primarily at the headquarters level, whose work is relevant to youth. They usually take in volunteers every summer to work on their World Youth Development Reports.


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The article was written by Isabella Silalahi, IUNIA Mentor. Feel free to drop your comment and questions to contact.iunia@gmail.com

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