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
Official website of the 20th YMCA World Council (2022)
Highlights of the 20th YMCA World Council (2022)
Report on the 20th YMCA World Council (2022)
Co-Labs Magazine: Turning YMCA Vision 2030 into Action (English)
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’.
Special highlights have included the issuing of the Kampala Principles in Uganda (1973), and Challenge 21 in Frechen, Germany (1998).
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
‘Connection’ as the solution to Mental Health crisis
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
‘This is our moment, our time to ignite change’
Today Soheila Hayek of YMCA Lebanon was sworn in as the new President of the World YMCA, r...08/07/2022
‘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
“We are old friends. We shall overcome.” YMCAs Ukraine and Belarus
Victor Serbulov, National General Secretary of YMCA Ukraine, joined Sasha Drachuk, Nationa...08/07/2022
2018-2022 YMCA Treasurer’s Report
Mr. Ronald Tak Fai Yam spoke on Friday July 8th, at the YMCA’s 20th World Council. He sp...
A year from now: 20th YMCA World Council, Denmark, 3-9 July 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 to be keynote speaker at YMCA World Council
Ban Ki-Moon, former UN Secretary-General and founder and Co-Chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centr...06/05/2022
Ban Ki-moon to YMCA young people: ‘passion and compassion: it takes both to be a global citizen’
‘Good work has no borders or nationality – are you ready to extend your helping hand t...05/07/2022
Closing ceremony wraps up 20th World Council with a few surprises
Go forth and ignite! And with those words, World YMCA Secretary General Carlos Sanvee brou...
Co-Labs: On our way to Vision 2030
By Sophia Elsig A Just World, Community Wellbeing, Sustainable Planet and Meaningfu...
Cuando la realidad supera la ficción
Por Caro Quintero “Hoy es miércoles, en caso de que no sepan qué día es”, la...