Youth Corner
Publié sur mai 3, 2024

Nothing For Us, Without Us: A Recap of the 2024 ECOSOC Youth Forum

The Economic and Social Council  (ECOSOC) Youth Forum recently took place from 16-18 April 2024. This forum succeeded in bringing together young people from all over the world. Stepping into the space myself was an experience like no other. Seeing the diverse attendees—dressed in their cultural attire and speaking different languages—was truly inspiring. It felt like exactly where I needed to be.

The sessions I attended opened my eyes to the various, distinct challenges youth face at local, regional, and national levels. But as a group, we all resonated with common problems like climate change, discrimination, economic instability, and conflict in our communities.

Meeting María José Flores, a social worker from Guatemala specializing in Development Management and a member of UNFPA Guatemala’s Youth Advisory Group was a highlight of the event. She expressed,

“The forum provided young women with a vital platform for inclusion in shaping agendas and policies aligned with the SDGs, addressing a critical barrier faced by many in their home countries, where governments often overlooked the voices of youth, especially young women.”

Young SDG Advocates María José Flores and Isabella Briseño Elalfi at the 2024 ECOSOC Youth Forum


The forum’s hybrid format brought a heightened commitment to progress and the Sustainable Development Goals. It reminded us of the crucial role the United Nations plays in bringing people together around Our Common Agenda.

During formal sessions and informal chats, we built a sense of community. We came up with key takeaways concerning community organizing, political advocacy, and educational resources to guide our actions, not only back in our local communities, but within the global community we are all a part of as well.

Christina Williams, Head of Advocacy and Partnerships for the Commonwealth Students Association, said it well:

We need to make space for other young people to join us. This was particularly relevant at the ECOSOC Youth Forum for those who couldn’t participate due to access issues. Moving forward, it is a principle we should live by every day—inviting fellow youth to opportunities whenever possible.

To drive real progress, we need intergenerational coalitions of changemakers who care about our planet, people, and prosperity. This requires empathy for each individual's journey. Understanding these unique experiences is crucial for creating an environment where we can effectively tackle the crises affecting us all.

Through these compassionate interactions, we can build a stronger community. The sentiments echoed by youth participants at the forum resonated globally—a call for meaningful inclusion in decision-making processes at all levels of governance and society. The Open Letter offered during the ECOSOC Youth Forum was a great example of fostering such engagement, with youth input informing the upcoming Summit of the Future.

To my fellow youth, I encourage you to stay committed to positive change and to keep seeking out community, with urgency and compassion.

Below, I gathered some resources from the forum. While not exhaustive, I hope they are useful in our ongoing efforts.


Multimedia Recap

UN Youth Office: ECOSOC Highlights 

UN Programme on Youth: Event Recap

UN DESA:  It’s Time to Let #YouthLead Session

UN DESA: Young people: world shapers and leaders of the future 

UN ESCAP: Event Promotion 



Act Now: Speak Up for Our Common Future 

SDG Action Campaign: Unite to Act

Human Rights Education: Changemakers: Stories of Young Human Rights Educators

Sightsavers: Voices



UNDP: How Digital is Transforming the Lives of Young People in Small Island Developing States

UNDP: 6 steps to ensure young people can participate in climate policy on equal terms

UNFPA: What works to amplify the rights and voices of youth in peace and resilience building?



Joint SDG Fund: Youth Network

Women Deliver: Emerging Leaders for Change Program

UN Office of Information and Communications Technology: Reboot the Earth 

UNEP: Champions of the Earth