Culture has the power to transform entire societies, strengthen local communities and forge a sense of identity and belonging for people of all ages. As a vector for youth development and civic engagement, culture plays an essential role in promoting sustainable social and economic development for future generations. Youth can act as a bridge between cultures and serve as key agents in promoting peace and intercultural understanding.
• Since the first World Heritage Youth Forum in 1995, in Bergen, Norway, over 30 Youth Forums have been held around the world.
• Since 2008, more than 40 new World Heritage Volunteer projects have been launched. There are now 55 projects at 53 World Heritage sites in all 5 continents scheduled to take place in 2013.
• Opportunities for mentoring and intercultural dialogue in the creative industries have strengthened the professional and creative development of young people around the world (UNESCO-Ruby Partnership Programme; Travel to Learn Arts and Crafts; UNESCO-Aschberg Bursaries for Artists Programme).
• Transmitting heritage values to young people favours intercultural understanding, respect for cultural diversity and helps create an environment propitious to a culture of peace.