WHO launches youth council to provide advice on global health and development issues affecting young people


World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General’s Youth Council, launched today, will provide advice on key health and development issues affecting young people as part of a comprehensive and inclusive strategy of WHO Youth Engagement.

WHO is fully aware of the importance of listening to and learning from young people. This became clearer than ever during the global COVID-19 pandemic which is having such an impact on the lives of young people.

“Young people are less at risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19, but will be the most affected by the long-term consequences of the pandemic, which will shape the world they live and work in for decades to come. “Said the WHO. Managing Director, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “The WHO Youth Council was established to hear the voices and experiences of young people, and to harness and develop their energy and ideas to promote and protect health for all. “

The Youth Council brings together young people from all over the world from the health and non-health worlds to advise the Director-General on global health and other health and development issues.

It is a place where the Director-General and WHO management can engage directly with young people.

The Youth Council will serve as a platform to design and incubate new initiatives and to maintain and expand meaningful WHO youth engagement initiatives.

Council members belong to youth advocacy movements around the world. Members are expected to meet several times a year to discuss issues that matter to their peers and the community.

As WHO wants this Council to be youth-led, an inclusive and diverse initial group will define the modalities. The design of the WHO Youth Council is underway in collaboration with youth representatives from various organizations, including student health organizations, organizations of young health professionals, other youth NGOs focused on health, non-health youth NGOs as well as major groups on children and young people.

When this core group meets in the coming week, they will define the criteria and selection of final members taking into account diversity and inclusion and propose terms of reference.