In 2012, the United Nations Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) discussed the topic of youth and sustainable development in light of the confluence of events during the Arab spring and in preparation for the Rio+20 conference. Executive Heads exchanged views on the various dimensions of programmatic issues affecting youth, including youth employment, political inclusion, health and education. The Board emphasised the importance of greater UN system coordination in support of youth development.
In March 2013, the High-level Committee on Programmes (HLCP) recommended the draft Youth-SWAP for endorsement by CEB with the understanding that additional issues related to youth might be reviewed and addressed during the preparation of the implementation plan.
The Youth-SWAP was then endorsed by the CEB in April 2013.