With the theme “For Planetary Prosperity”, young students or professionals between the ages of 18 and 30 will have the opportunity to discuss ongoing technological innovations, transformation of industries, education for the future and the growing importance of soft skills – in particular the need for collaboration to address complex issues at scale and create a more resilient global economy.

The Forum will take place as part of the World Investment Forum.

Young leaders will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in dynamic conversations in the form of deep dive sessions, Youth o’clock, creative problem-solving workshops, projects presented by youth, and networking.

How to apply to the 4th UNCTAD Youth Forum

The 4th UNCTAD Youth Forum will take place in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, from 16 to 20 October 2023 as part of the World Investment Forum (WIF).

The theme of the Forum is “For Planetary Prosperity”.

The Forum is open to students or young professionals aged 18 to 30, who are interested in trade and development issues and want to debate with other youth from around the world.

Objectives of the Forum

• Facilitate the exchange of experiences among the youth and strengthen a network of future leaders from around the world.
• Foster an interactive dialogue between the youth and global players working towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, offering the youth a platform to express their views on issues of concern and areas where they wish to see greater action.
• Raise greater awareness on youth-led projects and how to enhance youth involvement in sustainable development programmes.

Programme of the Forum

The world today stands at a critical crossroad, facing multiple complex challenges arising from the lingering COVID-19 pandemic, with a global recession and energy crisis slowing economic growth and deepening inequalities around the world. Climate change and environmental degradation remain major global concerns, with developing countries being among the most heavily impacted. The recent health crisis spotlighted collaboration as key aspect of solving crises that are global in nature and creating a better future for humanity. Youth participation in creating a more networked multilateralism will be key for a resilient global economy.

Participation Criteria

UNCTAD will pre-select forum participants, who should meet the following criteria:
• Be between the ages of 18 and 30.
• Be able to speak and understand English.
• Have experience (from studies or work) in the areas of UNCTAD’s work/focus.

Evidence of  projects related to trade and development (academic and professional) will be considered as experience in the field. Participants will then be invited to describe their experiences in a video.

Application process

Please ensure that you:
• Create a short video (of maximum duration of two minutes and in mp4 format only) explaining your motivation for wanting to participate in the UNCTAD15 Youth Forum. Creativity and originality are encouraged. Upload the video to either YouTube or Vimeo as explained below:

To YouTube:
1. Sign into your YouTube account.
2. Click on Upload at the top of the page.
3. Select the video you would like to upload.
4. Click Publish to finish uploading. Set the video privacy setting to Unlisted.
5. Click Done to finish the upload and click Share to privately share your video.

To Vimeo :
1. Sign into your Vimeo account;
2. Click the “Upload Video” button which is located on the home page of the site;
3. Once you click the upload link, you will be taken to the upload page;
4. Click the “Choose a File to Upload” button which will launch an upload dialog
5. Choose the file that you want to upload and then click on “Select”.

• Fully complete the online application form, including the URL of your video and send it.

Selection Criteria

The UNCTAD Youth Forum is designed for youth participants from around the world. The selection criteria will be based on principles of equitable geographical representation, balanced gender distribution, diversity of backgrounds (e.g. age, areas of studies and additional experience), and the quality of the supporting material attached with the applications, (e.g. originality in the video).

A Committee from UNCTAD will select the Youth Forum participants. Successful applicants will be notified by no later than 31 August 2023. An announcement will be made on social media once the selection process has been completed.


Participants are expected to identify their own sources of funding for participation.

Conditions to Participate

Full time attendance at the Forum by the selected participants is encouraged. Participants should be committed to invest time to prepare for and actively participate in the Youth Forum.

Deadline for Submission of Applications

No applications will be considered after 30 June 2023 at 5 p.m. Geneva Time (UTC+2).

Make your application here!

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