UN Volunteer Simon Kuany (far right), Associate Project Officer with the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development, with participants at an Inquiry and Integration workshop in New Delhi, India. (Photo: UNV, 2016)

Promoting global citizenship through learning and dialogue

Simon Kuany (South Sudan) is a UN Volunteer with the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP), in New Delhi, India. Funded generously by the Indian Government, MGIEP was formed in 2012 and since then has contributed to transforming education for humanity. It is an integral part of UNESCO, and the organization’s specialist institute on education for peace and sustainable development to foster global citizenship.

(Photo: © Ewha Womans University / ISVP)

How can education prevent school violence and bullying based on ethnic discrimination?

UNESCO organized a workshop on Global Citizenship Education as part of the International Symposium on School Violence and Bullying: From Evidence to Action that took place in Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Learning to live together in peace through Global Citizenship Education

This UNESCO video explains the importance of Global Citizenship Education (GCED) in a globalized and increasingly interconnected and interdependent world. GCED is key to understand the interconnections between the local and the global and nurture a sense of belonging to a common humanity. It builds motivation to assume active roles to contribute to a more just, peaceful, tolerant and sustainable world.

Members of the School Parliament organize a puppet show to promote inclusion and tolerance, Jordan. (Photo: @2014 UNRWA, Alaa Ghosheh.)

Making global citizenship education possible for refugees

All around the world we are witnessing an increased focus on global citizenship education (GCE). Global citizenship refers to a sense of belonging to a common humanity. And the values of that common humanity are underpinned by human rights. Accordingly the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East delivers this work through its Human Rights, Conflict Resolution and Tolerance Education Programme.

(Photo: UNESCO)

UNESCO Launches Teacher’s Guide on the Prevention of Violent Extremism

UNESCO’s Teacher Guide on the Prevention of Violent Extremism provides practical tips to educators seeking guidance on how to discuss the subject in classrooms. The Guide was developed within the framework of UNESCO’s work on Global Citizenship Education and in response to the request of UNESCO’s Member States for assistance in strengthening their education sector responses to violent extremism.

Southern Africa Regional Meeting on Global Citizenship Education convened in Johannesburg, South Africa

The UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa (ROSA), in collaboration with the UNESCO Headquarters and the South African National Commission for UNESCO, organized a Southern Africa Regional meeting on Global Citizenship Education, in Johannesburg, South Africa on July 4-5, 2016.

Gyeongju Action Plan: NGOs join UNESCO in global citizenship education push

UNESCO’s priority mission to strengthen global citizenship education and advocate for its integral role in achieving the Agenda for Sustainable Development was bolstered at the recent United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI)/Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Conference. The conference culminated in the “Gyeongju Action Plan”, in which NGO participants affirmed their collective belief in the importance of Sustainable Development Goal 4 charting the Education 2030 agenda, recognized GCED as “an essential strategy” to address modern challenges. Under the plan, they commit to GCED principles, such as promoting education that celebrates diversity and collaboration at all levels of society and across cultures.

Helping students become global citizens: Global Capacity-Building Workshop on Global Citizenship Education

The first Global Capacity-Building Workshop on Global Citizenship Education (GCED) was hosted by the Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU) under the auspices of UNESCO. 28 teachers and education experts from 26 nations participated in the workshop in Guro-gu, southwestern Seoul.

Declaration of the World Summit of Educators

We, the participants at the World Summit of Educators, assembled to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the speech by Dr. Daisaku Ikeda given at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, entitled “Thoughts on Education for Global Citizenship” affirm wholeheartedly that education is a human right established and recognized by the international community. We reaffirm our collaborative conviction that the concept of global citizenship as an objective of education has assumed even greater relevance and significance today in view of the continuing and ever-increasing challenges education systems in our countries face.

Video: Betty Reardon & Anwarul Chowdhury in conversation about Daisaku Ikeda’s “Speech that Changed the World”

On June 13, 2016 Dr. Betty Reardon and Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury engaged in conversation at Soka University of America in celebration of Daisaku Ikeda’s “Speech that Changed the World.” The speech, given at Teachers College, Columbia University 20 years ago, was entitled “Thoughts on Education for Global Citizenship,” and it was through this speech that Ikeda presented a message of hope that is relevant to our current times, rife with divisive rhetoric. The vision of education that Ikeda outlined in his speech has inspired many change makers around the world.

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

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.

Bushra Mohamed Ahmed Safi, 30 years old from Al Saleh (East Darfur) is a participant of the Youth Volunteers Rebuilding Darfur Project (YVRDP) in Nyala, South Darfur. The YVRDP is a joint initiative of UNDP and the Government of Sudan to establish a youth volunteers-led scheme to promote environmentally sustainable poverty reduction and private sector development in Darfur. The YVRDP is coordinated by UNDP and the Peace and Development Center at the Universities of El Fasher, Nyala and El Geneina. (Photo: UNAMID. Flickr / Creative Commons)

Youth and Sustainable Peace: Why Global Citizenship Education Matters

According to the 2015 Global Peace Index Report approximately 13,4% of the worlds GDP ($14.3 Trill) was lost to conflict in 2014. This is equivalent to the combined economies of Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom. The cost of conflict has a heavy toll mostly on the youth particularly in the global south. This article by Moses Machipisa provides an analysis of why Global Citizenship Education (GCED) is critical in building sustainable peace and why youth are critical actors in this process.

(Photo: Asian Development Bank CC BY-NC-ND)

Educating for Peace, Sustainable Development Goals and the ideal of Global Citizenship

Toh Swee-Hin of the University for Peace, Costa Rica, unpacks peace education in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals and the ideal of global citizenship. He suggests that given the multiple and complex realities of conflicts and peacelessness facing humanity and our planet, a holistic, multidimensional framework for peace education is necessary. In essence, the goals of peace education in such a holistic framework can be framed as two interrelated questions: 1) How can education contribute to a critical understanding of the root causes of conflicts, violence and peacelessness at the personal, interpersonal, community, national, regional and global levels? 2) How can education simultaneously cultivate values and attitudes that will encourage individual and social action for building more peaceful selves, families, communities, societies and ultimately a more peaceful world?

(Photo: MGIEP)

UNESCO’s YESPeace Network taps the power of youth worldwide to change the future

“We have to bring young people back into society and what they need is identity and meaning,” said Dr Anantha Kumar Duraiappah, Director of the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP) in New Delhi. MGIEP is UNESCO’s specialist institute on education for peace and sustainable development.

Dr Duraiappah, who was interviewed after participating in a UNESCO experts’ consultation on preventing violent extremism through education, says the YESPeace Network is part of the institute’s response to just such challenges. Young people want a voice and they want dignity,” he said. “They live in an interconnected increasingly small world and they are surrounded by social media chatter. We want to build a platform that unifies them around our mandate of peace, sustainable development and global citizenship.”

(Photo: DFID - UK DEPARTMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT/FLICKR)

Why We Need Education for Global Citizenship

Today, education for global citizenship is a necessary tool for building a more peaceful world that ensures every person has a right to clean air, clean water, food, shelter, and other basic human rights. According to UNESCO global citizenship education “aims to empower 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.” But education alone will not dissolve hateful, ignorant, and oppressive individuals, institutions, and structures of power. Peace requires active engagement; it also requires commitments to reducing global inequities.

From May 30 to June 1, NGO leaders, technical experts, government and UN officials will come together to develop an action agenda focused on the theme: Education for Global Citizenship: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the 66th United Nations DPI/NGO conference this spring in Gyeongju, Republic of Korea.

New agreement to measure global citizenship and sustainable development education

UNESCO and the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) have established an official agreement to collaborate in the area of measuring Global Citizenship Education (GCED) and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). The UNESCO – IEA collaboration will focus on measuring Target 4.7 of the 2030 Education Agenda which includes GCED and ESD, the aim of which is to “…ensure all learners acquire knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including among others through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship, and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development.”