Participants of the 66th United Nations DPI/NGO Conference adopt Education for Global Citizenship Action Plan

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Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 3.10.59 PMParticipants of the 66th United Nations DPI/NGO Conference adopt Education for Global Citizenship Action Plan

Gyeongju Action Plan
“Education for Global Citizenship: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals Together”
Gyeongju, Republic of Korea 30 May – 1 June 2016

Download the action plan here

We, the NGO participants of the 66th United Nations DPI/NGO Conference, adopt this Action Plan so that all may realize the aspirations of the 2030 Global Agenda for Sustainable Development. Education is a human right, essential to well-being and dignity, and is key to achieving Agenda 2030. Further, an ethos of global citizenship is required in order to fulfill this bold, people-centered, universal, and planet-sensitive development framework.

In order to achieve Agenda 2030, we affirm:

  • The importance of Sustainable Development Goal 4: “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong opportunities for all.”
  • “Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship …” 
  • In the spirit of global citizenship, in which our primary identity is that of human beings, all people, regardless of circumstances, “should have access to life-long learning opportunities that help them acquire the knowledge and skills needed to exploit opportunities and to participate fully in society.”
  • The importance of universal inclusion, acknowledging that the absence of a particular group or identity in text can lead to the exclusion of that group or identity in policy. We have made a conscious decision not to highlight any particular group or identity to ensure full inclusion and equal treatment of all people – especially those in positions of specific vulnerability and marginalization. It is unacceptable that diverse group memberships and identities have been used to deny the right to learn or otherwise marginalize individuals. In education, as in all things, the basis of non-discrimination is, and ought to be, our common humanity.
  • In addition to literacy and numeracy, education must advance the cause of global citizenship which:
    • inculcates a sense of care for the earth, reverence for the interdependent kinship of all life, and stewardship of all ecological systems for future generations;
    • strengthens the societal relationships among individuals, institutions, communities, states, humanity, and the planet;
    • “empowers learners to assume active roles to face and resolve global challenges and to become proactive contributors to a more peaceful, tolerant, inclusive, and secure world”;
    • nurtures a sense of solidarity and empathy in order to end poverty, protect the planet, ensure human rights, and foster prosperous and fulfilling lives for all.
  • The pivotal role that arts, engineering, the humanities, mathematics, natural and social sciences, and technology must play to catalyze innovation and fulfill the 2030 Agenda. We further affirm the value of interdisciplinary education as a driver for creative expression and innovation.
  • Education for global citizenship is an essential strategy to address global challenges as well as to promote gender equality, facilitate the eradication of poverty and hunger, build skills, eliminate corruption, and prevent violence, including violent extremism. It promotes truly sustainable production and consumption, mitigating climate change and its effects, protecting our waters and biodiversity, and preserving indigenous knowledge.
  • The importance of the inclusion and participation of young people in decisions that affect their learning processes since educational systems have a profound, distinct, and lasting impact on them.
  • Local knowledge and best practices should be incorporated into practical educational strategies for resilient communities and sustainable agriculture. Particular targeted efforts should be made to include and empower rural people living in poverty, women, and disadvantaged groups through education. Community-based organizations must be given authentic power and capacity to prioritize needs, select projects, manage funds, and take action.
  • This gathering builds on previous foundational initiatives including, but not limited to, the 2013 UNESCO Forum on Global Citizenship Education: Preparing Learners for the Challenge of the 21st Century; the 2014 UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development: Learning Today for a Sustainable Future; and the 2015 World Education Forum: Transforming Lives through Education.

We commit to:

  • An education based on creative and critical thinking that enables all people to actively contribute to political and developmental processes in a complex, interlinked, and diverse global society both within and beyond their borders.
  • An education that teaches conflict resolution, a deep appreciation for diversity, ethical reasoning, gender equality, human rights and responsibilities, interdependence, multilingual and multicultural competence, social justice, sustainable development, and values.
  • Utilize the pillars of formal education, informal education and training, and advocacy and public information as means to reduce inequalities that impede the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, most particularly Goal 4.
  • Strengthen diverse civil-society-led coalitions around the world that contribute to the development of education for global citizenship.
  • Work with the UNESCO Clearinghouse on Global Citizenship Education, the Global Education First Initiative (GEFI) and the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) for the next 12 months, at which point a review of activities will take place.
  • Support Member States and the United Nations in their efforts to “provid[e] inclusive and equitable quality education at all levels – early childhood, primary, secondary, tertiary, technical and vocational training.”
  • Promote educational skills for social entrepreneurship and the sharing of appropriate information and communication technologies.
  • Enhance educational understandings of “tradition” and “innovation” in a manner that preserves each culture’s unique perspectives and principles and is consistent with human rights and global citizenship.
  • Collaborate to formulate a comprehensive and succinct definition of global citizenship that can be used in curricula around the world.
  • Harness strategies, expertise, and resources across the widest spectrum of civil society to unleash a range of educational initiatives that ensure inclusive, safe, and equitable quality education, and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all people.
  • Work at the local level, engaging parents and community leaders, to formulate plans to incorporate education for global citizenship in educational systems.
  • Strengthen intergenerational partnerships in all aspects of our work.
  • Translate and disseminate this document in multiple languages and implement it in diverse cultural contexts.

We urge Member States and the United Nations to:

  • Prioritize education in policy and practice.
  • Support enactment by the United Nations for an International Day of Education that would serve as a means to promote education for global citizenship, learning for civic engagement, and literacy for grassroots empowerment.
  • Provide an education that will enable all people to actively contribute to the political and developmental processes in a complex, interlinked and diverse society.
  • Re-think current models and structures of participation in decision-making processes at all levels.
  • Allocate a greater percentage of public revenues to education, particularly through the reduction of global military expenditures.
  • Provide adequate resources to address all the SDGs.
  • In furtherance of Agenda 2030, promote the right to access information. “Access to information and sharing and creation of knowledge contributes significantly to strengthening economic, social and cultural development, thus helping all countries to reach the internationally agreed development goals.”
  • Adopt implementation approaches to education which respect local specificities including the political, social, cultural, and historical dimensions without discrimination.
  • Increase sustainable and renewable energy to ensure all people’s access to education, health, environmental sustainability, and planet-friendly development.
  • Explore ways and means by which education for global citizenship can be integrated into curricula and the agenda for education.
  • Continue the important work the United Nations is doing in this field through, for example UNESCO, as well as initiatives such as GEFI and UNAI.
  • Promote experiential learning, interdisciplinary studies, online learning, and intercultural exchanges to prepare students and educators to become global citizens.
  • Devise and implement effective capacity-building programs for education practitioners.
  • Create the position of Secretary-General’s Envoy to Civil Society to act as a liaison between the Secretary-General’s Office and Civil Society.

Therefore, be it resolved,

We, the people gathered at the 66th United Nations DPI/NGO Conference, will continue to work in furtherance of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with a particular emphasis on promoting education for global citizenship.

We thank the people and the Government of the Republic of Korea, the Province of Gyeongsangbukdo, and the City of Gyeongju for their heartfelt and warm welcome and for hosting the 66th United Nations DPI/NGO Conference and for their efforts to promote education for global citizenship and to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Download the action plan here

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