First Global Forum on Youth Policies Adopts Baku Declaration




The opening session of the First Global Forum on Youth Policies  


Baku, 28 October 2014 -“Raise your voices” was United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message to young people, delivered before a packed audience of youth Ministers, experts, activists and volunteers at the opening of the First Global Forum on Youth Policies in Azerbaijan.


The United Nations-backed event was held in Baku, Azerbaijan from 28 to 30 October 2014, for the first time, to amplify voices passionate about developing and implementing policies tailored to the specific needs, aspirations and demands of today's young people.


Bringing together approximately 700 youth policy experts – from governments and parliaments, youth networks and movement, research and development communities – the gathering comes at an especially opportune time as young people face several dilemmas and challenges.


This forum marks the 20th anniversary of the World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond (WPAY). The WPAY represents an overarching framework to regulate youth policy around the world, highlighting 15 priority areas ranging from employment and health to drug abuse and armed conflict.



Mr. Angga Dwi Martha, UNFPA Indonesia Youth Advocate, highlighted three main challenges of youth policy in Asia and Pacific region 


This global event was co-organized by the Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), and the Council of Europe, with the support of and hosted by the Ministry of Youth and Sports in Azerbaijan in the framework of Azerbaijan’s Chairmanship of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers.


In addition to revisiting the global blueprint for national youth policies set out by the WPAY, the Forum also adopted the “Baku Commitment to Youth Policies” (Baku Declaration), a set of common understanding of the needs for and rationales of systemic approaches to modern youth policy as well as strategic follow up to foster participation of young people in the development of youth policy.


Participating as one of the panelists at the event, Mr. Angga Dwi Martha, UNFPA Indonesia Youth Advocate, highlighted three main challenges of youth policy in Asia and Pacific region: meaningful youth participation, issues related to cooperation and coordination among stakeholders, and data availability. According to Mr. Martha, the issue of coordination has become one of the major barriers in youth policy development in Indonesia, where different stakeholders and laws have different definition on youth, adolescent and young people. There is a need for clear and comprehensive National Youth Strategy to gather all views and strengthen collaboration and integration among stakeholders. Moreover, a National Youth Strategy will demonstrate Indonesia’s commitment and strategic direction in promoting and progressing youth participation and leadership in development. Effective policies and programmes for adolescents and youth are key to Indonesia’s development.


Prof. Najib Azca, from the Youth Study Centre at the University of Gadjah Mada, highlighted the importance of youth participation in shaping youth policy. Indonesian young people have demonstrated strong participation both in many ways. For example, the 2014 presidential election showed that young people can use social media to make their voices heard.



Mr. Angga Dwi Martha presents the voices from the Asia-Pacific Region to the plenary of the First Global Forum on Youth Policies.


The outcome of the forum is intended to help the stakeholders to shape a common understanding of key guiding principles for integrated and inclusive youth policy development that will serve as a milestone in defining and exemplifying what is needed to advance youth policy development and implementation with, and for, youth.


Complete text of the “Baku Commitment to Youth Policies” can be download here: 


Tags: Young People