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Children and Youth .:. Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform

Focal Point
Restless Development, Ms. Sarah Hynes
European Youth Forum, Mr. Lloyd Russell-Moyle
Pacific Youth Council, Ms. Tahere Siisiialafia
Children and Youth International, Mr. Aashish Khullar

Welcome to the United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth (MGCY). This is your constituency within the Sustainable Development negotiations at the UN if you are under 30 years old. We strive to represent the voice of children and youth around the world.

We are a dynamic international network of young people and organizations bringing about change in the world. We care about the future, the sustainability of our planet and the development of the people on it. We are here as a space for the voices of children and youth globally. At the UN and in our local communities, we are changing the way the world works. We are designing the future.

About us

The MGCY is the officially recognised space within UN processes for Sustainable Development which facilitates the voice of children and young people. Where possible, it aims to come to common positions for children and young people so these can be presented to decision makers - where this is not possible, we facilitate the diversity of voices of children and young people.

The MGCY also works to inspire and be a platform for children and young people’s activism through a series of working groups, aimed at bringing people together to help build the global youth voice. Its functions also include capacity building and empowerment of young people. Formally, it has a role in processes related to the outcomes of Rio+20, such as the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals and the negotiations on Financing for Sustainable Development, Disaster Risk Reduction, Small Island Developing States, Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns, as well as other processes which are convened at the UN on development issues.

Currently, over 5000 organizations and/or people participate in the activities of the MGCY. There are two types of membership:

  • Individual membership (under the age of 30 years)
  • Group membership (child or youth led/focused organizations/coalitions/networks/ councils/etc.)

The General Assembly of the UN has called for the MGCY to be self-organized in its work through open and transparent processes - these guidelines, as well as lead organizations for each process, can be viewed on the MGCY website.

To become a member, you have to register with us by joining Major Group for Children and Youth Space email list. Here you will receive and can share any information related to children and youth and Sustainable Development. We encourage you to share your information!

Once you have joined the Major Group, there are many ways to get involved - how you do this is completely up to you. You may want to be an active contributor to policy, help facilitate a working group, inspire youth activism in your local community, or just read about what has been going on.

The vision of the MGCY is the advanced participation of young people at all levels (locally, nationally, regionally and internationally) in the protection of the environment and the promotion of economic and social development. The mission of the MGCY is to ensure that the interests of children and youth are taken into account in planning and decision making processes, and that youth in particular participate meaningfully in UN negotiation processes.

The Organising Partners (OPs) is the term from the UN for the facilitators of each Major Group. In the UN Major Group for Children and Youth OPs are organisations of which half are elected every year for a two year term. OPs appoint a lead representative who are the first contact for the organisations at the UN and with external partners. Many of the organisations operate a team approach where there are people supporting the OP lead representative. When the organisation has a team we have also listed the team members. The OP teams can be reached at and questions should be directed to them all together. All information can be found on
Copyright United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs

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