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UNESCO Symposium on Youth Civic Engagement and Leadership

UNESCO Symposium on Youth Civic Engagement and Leadership

13th June 2014

This summer an unprecedented youth development event comes to Ireland! Croke Park and the GAA is happy to join with the UNESCO Chair in Community, Leadership and Youth Development at Penn State to launch an important movement focusing on youth development through sport.

According to the United Nations, 50% of the world population is age 25 or younger, with 85% of all youth living in less developed countries.  These figures describe an environment in which the active engagement of youth is essential to international security, stability, regional capacity building, and many development outcomes.  However, engaging youth requires innovative strategies such as initiating youth leadership through the mechanism of sports and recreation.

In late August, the Croke Park Classic will match the football teams of two major American universities, the University of Central Florida and the Pennsylvania State University, at Croke Park Stadium in Dublin, Ireland.

Complementing the football game, a major symposium will be held on August 28, 2014 at Croke Park Stadium to highlight and advance international youth development: The UNESCO Symposium on Youth Civic Engagement and Leadership through Sport and Recreation.  The symposium represents the scholarly commitment of Penn State and its partners in UNESCO, Ireland, and Northern Ireland to advancing international youth development programs and policy. 

This symposium will bring together experts, practitioners, members of development organizations, UNESCO goodwill ambassadors, and youth leaders to create innovative solutions to issues that directly impact youth and their communities.  The symposium will develop a series of key policy directions and a major formal UN declaration on utilizing sports and recreation as mechanisms for youth development worldwide.  This declaration will be presented to the UN, UNESCO, and UNICEF as a platform for them to build global programming and policy.

The Symposium will result in the Croke Park Declaration on Youth Civic Engagement and Leadership, significant policy initiatives, major visibility with attending UNESCO Celebrity Goodwill Ambassadors, and attendance by leading political representatives. 

Follow this exciting event on our webpage and social media:

Symposium Webpage:

Penn State UNESCO Chair Webpage: