World Council

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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)

                                     English             French            Spanish

20th YMCA WORLD COUNCIL NEWS BULLETINS

19th World Council 2018

History

First YMCA World Conference in Paris, 1855, with YMCA founder Sir George Williams front centre

 

 

1894 World Conference in London, UK

 

2018 World Council in Chiang Mai, Thailand


2022 World Council in Aarhus, Denmark

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

NEWS