In 2012, the United Nations Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) discussed the topic of youth and sustainable development in light of the confluence of events during the Arab spring and in preparation for the Rio+20 conference. Executive Heads exchanged views on the various dimensions of programmatic issues affecting youth, including youth employment, political inclusion, health and education. The Board emphasised the importance of greater UN system coordination in support of youth development.

Subsequently, UN-DESA and UN-HABITAT led the Inter-Agency Network on Youth and Development (IANYD)  in the preparation of a System-wide Action Plan on Youth (Youth-SWAP). It has been guided by the World Programme of Action for Youth , which provided the overall policy framework and guidelines for national action and international support to improve the well-being and livelihoods of young people. Within this context, the Youth-SWAP focuses on joint action by the UN system on the issues of employment and entrepreneurship, political inclusion, civic engagement and protection of rights, education, including sexuality education, and health.

In March 2013, the High-level Committee on Programmes (HLCP) recommended the draft Youth-SWAP for endorsement by CEB with the understanding that additional issues related to youth might be reviewed and addressed during the preparation of the implementation plan.

The Youth-SWAP was then endorsed by the CEB in April 2013.

UN system units on Youth

Inter-agency mechanisms on Youth

UN conferences / summits on Youth

Reports on Youth