The World Council is the highest governing body of the global YMCA Movement. It meets every four years. The last meeting was the 20th YMCA World Council on 4-8 July 2022: a truly hybrid event held both in-person in Aarhus, Denmark and online.
For complete information on all that happened at the 20th World Council, visit our summary page.
The 21st YMCA World Council will be held in July 2026 in Toronto, Canada.
20TH WORLD COUNCIL 2022
Report on the 20th YMCA World Council (2022)
19th World Council 2018
In 1855, the YMCA Movement met for the first time in Paris, France. 99 delegates from 9 countries – all under 25 – came together for what was then known as a ‘World Conference’. At that meeting, our foundational document the ‘Paris Basis’ was created and adopted.
On the 100th anniversary of the first World Conference, the naming convention changed to ‘World Council’.
At our World Council in Hong Kong in 2010, young people were not placed at the heart of our movement. They were relegated to side roles, and weren’t given the opportunity to be actively involved at World Council.
Fast forward four years, and there was a global shift across the organisation towards focussing on the common purpose of Empowering Young People. We built on this positive momentum and pushed further in 2018, with the theme of Youth Empowerment 4 Good in Thailand.
- 1855, Paris, France
- 1858, Geneva, Switzerland
- 1862, London, UK
- 1865, Elberfeld, Germany
- 1867, Paris, France
- 1872, Amsterdam, Netherland
- 1875, Geneva, Switzerland
- 1881, London, UK
- 1884, Berlin, Germany
- 1888, Stockholm, Sweden
- 1891, Amsterdam, Netherlands
- 1894, London, UK
- 1898, Basel, Switzerland
- 1902, Christiania, Norway
- 1905, Paris, France
- 1909, Elberfeld, Germany
- 1913, Edinburgh, UK
- 1926, Helingfors, Finland
- 1931, Cleveland, USA
- 1937, Mysore, India
- 1955, Paris, France
- 1957, Kassel, Germany
- 1961, Geneva, Switzerland
- 1965, Tozanso, Japan
- 1969, Nottingham, UK
- 1973, Kampala, Uganda
- 1977, Buenos Aires, Argentina
- 1981, Estes Park, Colorado, USA
- 1985, Nyborg, Denmark
- 1988, San Nicolas, Aruba
- 1991, Seoul, South Korea
- 1994, Coventry, UK
- 1998, Frechen, Germany
- 2002, Oaxtepec, Mexico
- 2006, Durban, South Africa
- 2010, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
- 2014, Estes Park, Colorado, USA
- 2018, Chiang Mai, Thailand
- 2022, Aarhus, Denmark
Panel 1: Community Wellbeing and Mental Health Tuesday 5 July, 2022 Sophia Elsig “Only...06/07/2022
‘It was my first global gathering’ – Lawrence Dolo looks back to the 19th YMCA World Council in Chiang Mai, 2018
Lawrence, what’s your background within the YMCA? I am a graduate Change Agent and a y...18/03/2022
‘We hit the open road’ – Secretary-General & President chart 4-year YMCA journey into and out of Covid
‘We have journeyed together through hard times, and come out stronger’ – the theme o...06/07/2022
Victor Serbulov, National General Secretary of YMCA Ukraine, joined Sasha Drachuk, Nationa...08/07/2022
World YMCA issued a video today to mark the start of the countdown to the 20th YMCA World ...05/07/2021
Ban Ki-Moon, former UN Secretary-General and founder and Co-Chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centr...06/05/2022
‘Good work has no borders or nationality – are you ready to extend your helping hand t...05/07/2022
Go forth and ignite! And with those words, World YMCA Secretary General Carlos Sanvee brou...