Established by

General Assembly


Children / Youth

Year established


Lead agency


United Nations Programme on Youth, UNESCO (Co-chairs)

The United Nations Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development (IANYD) is a network consisting of UN entities, represented at the headquarters level, whose work is relevant to youth. The aim of the Network is to increase the effectiveness of UN work in youth development by strengthening collaboration and exchange among all relevant UN entities, while respecting and harnessing the benefits of their individual strengths and unique approaches and mandates. In the framework of the World Programme of Action for Youth (WPAY) and its 15 priority areas, the Network advocates for, supports and reviews progress on the implementation of UN Resolutions, Conventions and the internationally agreed development goals that are youth-related.

The main objectives of the UN Inter-Agency Network are:

  • To identify key joint priorities and plan collaboratively to implement related initiatives;
  • To share good practices and expertise and to promote effective cooperation among the entities in programming at country and regional levels;
  • To identify global strategic opportunities, ensure coordinated input, facilitate and support sustainable follow-up mechanisms.

The Network consists of representatives identified by the Heads of UN entities whose work is relevant to youth issues. It has two co-chairs. The United Nations Programme on Youth is the permanent co-chair of the Network. As such it coordinates administrative functions of the Network and provides support and continuity to the other co-chair and the Network as required. The second co-chair of the Network is selected by the members and rotates on an annual basis. For 2010, the co-chair is UNESCO. 

The Network holds regular meetings at UNHQ, with telephone/video conferencing to other Duty Stations outside UNHQ. A meeting of the entities’ representatives is held on an annual basis, when possible in the context of another youth meeting.

The Network supports, encourages and cooperates with relevant interagency initiatives, and encourages relevant thematic sub-groups among members. Experts and organizations, in particular youth-led and youth-focused organizations and networks, whose knowledge may contribute to the Network’s work may be invited to its meetings by the co-chairs, after consultation with other members of the Network.

The Network promotes the development of similar inter-agency networks on youth development at the regional and country levels and works with these entities to ensure global and cross-regional coordination of collaborative initiatives.

The Network also contributes to increasing the understanding and visibility of the UN System’s work on youth development. In particular, the Network:

  • Provides a forum for cooperation and support;
  • Provides an opportunity for ongoing exchange of information on the UN system’s work on youth development, including through knowledge management initiatives and tools;
  • Strengthens and supports cooperation to promote youth development, through joint advocacy, initiatives and other forms of cooperation;
  • Draws on the members’ networks and relationships with governments, youth-led and youth-focused organizations, donor agencies, civil society organizations, multilateral organisations and others, to advance youth development;
  • Facilitates and supports youth involvement and participation in the UN System and its programmes or initiatives at all levels.