20th YMCA World Council to be hosted in Aarhus, Denmark

Date: 01 November 2019

Sustainable Development Goals and voluntary work will top the agenda in July 2022 when Aarhus hosts YMCA’s 20th World Council. Founded in 1844 and based in Geneva, YMCA brings together nearly 65 million people in 120 countries across the globe.

 Aarhus will be buzzing with youth-focused dynamism in 2022 when more than 1,500 delegates of all ages convene in the city for yet another major international event – YMCA World Council. Held every four years, the event was last held in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The focal point of the 2022 council will be the conditions and opportunities for young people in a globalised society. Special attention will also be given to the United Nations’ Sustainable Global Goals, of which the YMCA Movement is having an impact on all 17. The Council is to be organised by World YMCA and hosted by YMCA and YWCA in Denmark.


“We are very proud that YMCA World Council have chosen Denmark and Aarhus as host for their World Council in 2022. Aarhus and YMCA and YWCA are a perfect match, as the organisation, like Aarhus, represents a strong volunteer culture. At the same time, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are one of the Council’s focus areas. This will enable us to showcase solutions and cases on sustainability that Aarhus and Denmark have and are working towards,” said VisitAarhus Convention Director Allan Tambo Christensen.


In Denmark, YMCA and YWCA represents a strong volunteer tradition among the many local associations that are one of the core activities in Denmark. The organisation has a major focus on the democratic inclusion of children and young people in associational life and society, something the organisation looks forward to presenting at YMCA World Council in 2022.


“We offer ourselves as hosts hoping that we are able to further develop the connection between our local and global activities. The everyday life of young people is full of global and changeable perspectives. At YMCA and YWCA we want young people to embrace these conditions. At the same time, we want them to be highly engaged in their local society and stand by their values, when embracing the world,” says YMCA and YWCA in Denmark Chair Henriette Lynderup Kirkeskov and Co-Chair Jens Christian Kirk.


“This is something we work on each week in our local associations and activity centres, and we are convinced that hosting the Council will strengthen us in our work prior to, during and after the meeting,” the two add.


World YMCA Secretary General Carlos Madjri Sanvee says World YMCA was impressed with the proposal YMCA and YWCA in Denmark put forward for its 20th World Council. “YMCA and YWCA in Denmark presented an exciting proposal for a modern, interactive and youthful World Council and Aarhus was the clear and obvious choice as host city,” said Sanvee. “We look forward to engaging even more young people through the carefully tailored programme filled with youthful energy.”


A central theme for YMCA World Council is the organisation’s dedication to the UN’s Sustainable Global Goals. YMCA-YWCA in Denmark looks forward to contributing to the effort, with the Global Goals already an integral part of their activities. Their intention is to strengthen their cooperation with local councils, companies and organisations as YMCA World Council approaches in 2022, with a focus on inspiration and change in Denmark.


Denmark last hosted YMCA World Council in 1985 in Nyborg, and 2022 will also mark 24 years since the event was last held in Europe. Aarhus will also be adding a youth congress to the series of international events in the city.




Further information

VisitAarhus Convention Director, Allan Tambo Christiansen – Tel: +45 51566536 or mail at@visitaarhus.com.   

YMCA-YWCA in Denmark General Secretary, Jørgen Kvist – Tel: +45 27280199 or mail jk@kfum-kfuk.dk.   

World YMCA Director of Communications, Palmer Hestley – Tel: +44 7949 341269 or mail palmer@ymca.int.  


Press photos, text, questions about VisitAarhus

Tina Baungaard-Jensen, VisitAarhus communication agency, – Tel: +45 41281001 or mail tbj@ehrenbergsoerensen.com.


About YMCA

YMCA is the world’s oldest and largest youth organisation. Founded in 1844, it now operates in 120 countries and reaches 65 million people in 12,000 communities. Local associations are strongly rooted in their communities and offer a variety of programmes and services based on local priorities affecting young people. These programme areas cover all 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and unite the Movement in its mission to empower young people so they may transform the world for the better.


About VisitAarhus

VisitAarhus is the Aarhus region’s official tourist organisation, with the task of developing tourism and promoting the destination as a vacation and travel destination. VisitAarhus is a commercial foundation whose mission is to contribute to tourism in the Aarhus region creating results in the city, region and Denmark. This is done by positioning Aarhus as a city of knowledge and attractions, with quality experiences for citizens, companies and guests. Tourism in Aarhus, the Djursland Peninsula and in Silkeborg has seen major growth in recent years, with annual commercial overnight stays at around 3.5 million.