World Scouting and the United Nations
The relationship between Scouting and the UN has a long history. Since the early days of the United Nations, Scouts at all levels have been involved in various programmes, initiatives and projects with different UN bodies. This is also part of the Strategy for Scouting.
Today, WOSM is one of the 134 International Non-governmental Organisations with General Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council. Scouting is regularly invited to express its views on the topics being discussed in the United Nations, and participates in numerous consultations related to the situation of young people in the world. In addition to this, the location of the World Scout Bureau enables World Scouting to be in close relations with many UN agencies based in Geneva. (Conference Report, Tunisia 2005) - For further information download the guide .
Acting Locally with the UN
Locally, Scouting is heavily involved with the UN in many areas, such as:
- Child labour
- Clean water and sanitation
- Drug abuse prevention
- Emergencies and humanitarian relief
- Life skills training
- Peace and reconciliation
When there is something to do, someone to help, to serve or to rescue, you can always find a Scout ready to make a constructive contribution. The United Nations recognised this great capacity by signing several Memorandums of Understanding with the Scout Movement.
All of these agreements are helping Scouting to improve programmes and reach out to the community more effectively. The World Scout Bureau has also recently published a document entitled “Scouting and the United Nations” which gives information on how to work with the UN at the national level.
The impact of the Scout Movement is not restricted to actions at the local level. World Scouting plays an important role in advocating for improving global policies which are affecting young people.
For example, The World Programme of Action for Youth (WPAY), adopted by all Member States of the UN in 1995, is being reviewed and monitored with active involvement of the Scout Movement. The fact that the United Nations has adopted its own Youth Policy is recognition of the special attention young people enjoy in countries all over the world.
The work on advocacy has been successful in many areas, for example:
- Cultural diversity
- Gender opportunities
- Humanisation of globalization
- Millennium Development Goals
- Non-formal educational
- Peace and sustainable development
- The rights of the child
- Youth employment
- Youth empowerment
- Youth policies
The cooperation between the UN and Scouting benefits young people all over the world. Through the social force of Scouting and its constructive contribution to the community, we will work to achieve our goals in partnership with the United Nations. We must contribute to strengthen this relationship to make a difference and build a better world. (Conference Report, Tunisia)