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Understanding inclusion and participation in working with youth

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Ha Noi, 12 October 2017 – With the ever-growing role of youth in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, UNESCO and UNFPA jointly led a two-day workshop from 11-12 October on strengthening the inclusion of young people within the review of youth policies and frameworks. Based on UNESCO’s toolkit “Developing Evidence-Based, Participatory, Gender Equal and Socially Inclusive Youth Policies in Southeast Asia,” participants identified solutions to strengthen the voice of youth in policy development.

Attending the workshop, more than 25 participants including youth from the Youth Union, National Youth Committee, Civil Society Organizations and representatives from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA) and UN Agencies used the UNESCO Toolkit to identify diverse types of youth within Viet Nam and their respective concerns and needs for strengthening the ability of policy to respond to their needs.

In line with UNESCO’s 2014-2021 Operational Strategy on Youth, the Toolkit presents guidelines and activities for mainstreaming gender equality and social inclusion into national youth policies with a participatory, evidence-based, and inclusive approach.

Considering the context in Viet Nam, participants examined the current state of youth involvement in policy development and review, particularly with regard to Viet Nam’s 2005 Youth Law and 2011-2020 Youth Strategy. Through collaborative group activities, Government Officials and young people exchanged their thoughts and concerns, mapping the gaps and resources needed for the inclusion of different youth populations.

During the workshop youth participants expressed that despite their active role in leading development projects and campaigns, their contributions can sometimes be left behind, especially those of vulnerable groups. This can be attributed to the lack of exposure and skills for active participation in policy development processes.

To address these issues, MOHA representatives suggested the need for capacity building of youth’s policy-related skills and knowledge. Such competencies would increase the confidence of youth groups in collaborating with government officials and voicing their concerns and ideas. Similarly, the mainstreaming of gender equality and social inclusion was discussed as a process that requires more than simply involving youth in policy formulations.

Speaking on behalf of the UN Working Group on Adolescents and Youth, Ms Astrid Bant, Representative of UNFPA to Viet Nam, highlighted that “the lack of recognition of the importance of youth empowerment from both policy makers and among youth themselves creates a barrier to the meaningful participation of young people.” With that, Ms Bant, reaffirmed the UN’s commitment to supporting “youth participation in decision-making processes in Viet Nam.”

Susan Vize, UNESCO Regional Adviser for Social and Human Sciences for Asia and the Pacific, introduced UNESCO’s approach and vision towards youth, outlining the dynamic dimensions of youth inclusion through “policy making, civic engagement, capacity building and advocacy.”

Equipped with the toolkit, youth representatives expressed that they now feel more confident in actively engaging in the development and review of Youth Policy. They aspire to circulate the toolkit in their respective networks and to work towards empowering even more youth in Viet Nam.

In close collaboration with the participants, UNESCO will contextualize the Toolkit to Viet Nam, incorporating participant feedback collected during the workshop and will continue to support MOHA in enabling youth friendly policy development and reviews.

For more information, please contact

  • Ms Vu Thi Hai Ha, Carlo Schmid Fellow for Youth Programming, at or visit our Facebook page @UNESCOinVietNam




1 December 2017

Michel Sidibé
Executive Director of UNAIDS
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations

This World AIDS Day, we are highlighting the importance of the right to health and the challenges that people living with and affected by HIV face in fulfilling that right.


Community spaces design contest for an exciting hanoi

Ha Noi, October 17/10/2017 - Aiming at improving the living environment and bringing culture and art to the community towards a better urban future, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) successfully developed the project “Promote participatory, community-based and youth-led approach in safe, greening public spaces in Hoan Kiem district toward a pro-poor, inclusive and sustainable urban development” (hereinafter called Public Spaces project) under the Block by Block program with Mojang, the makers of the videogame Minecraft.


Deadline for round 1: From 17/10/2017 to 04/11/2017 Extended to 9 November 2017


Harsh punishment for child offenders doesn’t prevent further criminality

The age at which a child, can be held criminally liable is a controversial issue around the world. Within Viet Nam, this issue is currently being grappled with in the Penal Code amendments. Some argue that a "get tough on crime" approach is necessary to punish children to prevent further criminality.

However, international research shows that because of their developmental stages, labelling and treating children as criminals at an early age can have serious negative impacts on their development and successful rehabilitation.


New Year Greetings from the United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i. in Viet Nam


On the occasion of New Year 2017, on behalf of the United Nations family in Viet Nam I wish to reiterate our appreciation and express our warmest wishes to our partners and friends throughout the country. We wish our partners and their families in Viet Nam peace, prosperity, good health and happiness in the coming year.

As we enter the second year of the Sustainable Development Goals era, we look forward to continuing our close cooperation for the sake of Viet Nam’s future development; one which is inclusive, equitable and sustainable, with no one left behind.

Youssouf Abdel-Jelil
United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i. in Viet Nam


UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for World AIDS Day, observed on 1 December


Thirty-five years since the emergence of AIDS, the international community can look back with some pride.  But we must also look ahead with resolve and commitment to reach our goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

There has been real progress in tackling the disease. More people than ever are on treatment.  Since 2010, the number of children infected through mother to child transmission has dropped by half. Fewer people die of AIDS related causes each year.  And people living with HIV are living longer lives.

The number of people with access to life-saving medicines has doubled over the past five years, now topping 18 million. With the right investments, the world can get on the fast-track to achieve our target of 30 million people on treatment by 2030.  Access to HIV medicines to prevent mother to child transmission is now available to more than 75 per cent of those in need.

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