United Nations Youth Associations (UNYAs) are youth-led NGOs entirely consisting of young volunteers. These associations are supporting the goals and pronciples of the United Nations Charter and it is their aim to promote these principles and the work of the United Nations among their national civil society.
In August 2011, the United Nations Youth Associations Network (UNYANET) was founded in Vienna. UNYANET is the international network for United Nations Youth Associations and UNA-Youth Sections.
There is a variety of activities, UNYAs around the world work with, but the most common are:
Young people might set up an independent organization - a United Nations Youth (and/or Students) Association - that works independently, but often in cooperation with their country’s United Nations Association (UNA). In these cases, the relationship between the UNYA and the UNA takes various forms ranging from the UNYA and the UNA being independent organizations that coordinate on an ad hoc basis to the UNYA having a seat in the UNAs board. There are also United Nations Associations that do not have "Youth" in their title but that are almost entirely composed and governed by youth.
Often, there are Youth Sections within the UNA acting as a youth organization but within the UNAs structure.