Global Youth Summit to address long-term impacts of pandemic on young people

5 minutes

The world’s largest youth organisations and the World Health Organization are leading the first Global Youth Summit, gathering 1,600 young people from around the world to explore the unprecedented impact that COVID-19 has had on their lives, and to invest in innovative youth-led solutions that will accelerate the pandemic recovery.

Taking place from 23 to 25 April 2021, the Global Youth Summit will be one of the first milestones of the Global Youth Mobilization, an initiative that seeks to ensure young people are heard, supported and invested in as critical agents of change in COVID-19 response and recovery efforts. 

The initiative was launched in December 2020, by an alliance of the Big 6 Youth Organizations, together with the World Health Organization, the United Nations Foundation and powered by the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. 

While young women and men are disproportionately affected by the long-lasting consequences of the pandemic, they are also the ones leading solutions in response to COVID-19 through community-based interventions and voluntary service, such as acting as first responders and delivering essentials to those in need. 

The Global Youth Mobilization aims to draw attention to the urgent need to invest in young people and to highlight the critical leadership role young people are playing in their communities to counter the effects of the pandemic. By convening the Global Youth Summit, the Mobilization will offer a space for young people to collectively participate in shaping their realities in a post-COVID-19 world, and to discuss and put forward a series of advocacy and policy recommendations to world leaders that address their needs.

The online Summit will be attended by nearly 1,600 young participants between the ages of 14 and 30, and is expected to engage another 500,000 via its live YouTube broadcast and across social media channels. Plenary sessions led by high-profile speakers and experts from various international organisations, including over 70 interactive breakout sessions will form the core of the Summit’s programme. The programme will be offered in English, French, Spanish, Arabic and Russian and spans across different time zones to engage as many young people as possible at a global scale. 

In addition to providing personal and professional development opportunities for participants, the Summit will also launch a call for young people to access $1.5 million in micro-grant funding to invest in local youth-led solutions to the pandemic. Ten solutions with the greatest potential to be scaled up and replicated will be identified for further development through an additional $500,000 accelerator programme.

The Global Youth Mobilization is being supported by partners, including FIFA, Salesforce, UNICEF, UNFPA, Special Olympics, Terre des Hommes, World Economic Forum, Restless Development, as well as the Big 6 Youth Organizations, governments, corporate brands, academia, youth development organizations and youth in over 190 countries around the world.

For more information about the Summit, visit the Global Youth Mobilization website or follow @GYMobilization on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

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