“Learning for Lasting Peace” – International Day of Education 2024

To celebrate the International Day of Education, UNESCO organized a day of dialogue on education for peace on 24 January 2024 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.

The event was intended to mobilize Member States, UN agencies and programmes, UN-affiliated NGOs committed to education for peace, teachers and other education stakeholders, and youth. The event was organized by UNESCO with the Group of Friends for Education and Lifelong Learning, in close collaboration with the United Nations Secretariat.

Learn more about the International Day of Education


Event Summary

The world is seeing a surge of violent conflicts paralleled by a concerning rise of intolerance and discrimination. In particular, hate speech can take dangerous forms that not only causes harm at the personal level and incites group-targeted violence but is also an attack on inclusion, diversity and human rights.


In this context, an active commitment to peace is more urgent than ever. This commitment ought to surpass security and defense measures to prevent or stop conflicts, for peace does not begin where violence ends. Sustaining peace requires a strong foundation of inclusive, democratic and participatory governance, dialogue, solidarity, mutual understanding and cooperation, sustainable development, gender equality and the general realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Education is key to this endeavor. This pertinent role of education ought to reverberate in the ongoing negotiations towards a Pact for the Future to be launched at the Summit of the Future in 2024.

The International Day of Education 2024 aims to:

  • Mobilize Member States and partners to maintain education at the top of the political agenda and deliver on their TES and Education 2030 commitments;
  • Generate visibility at the local and global levels on the importance of education in strengthening and sustaining peace, as outlined in SDG4 Target 4.7, and other global education efforts;
  • Advocate for higher levels of domestic and international financing for education in general, and education for peace in particular, especially through innovative and multistakeholder mechanisms and partnerships;
  • Highlight and celebrate the peacemaking role of youth and educators in and through education towards just, inclusive and peaceful societies;
  • Provide a platform to discuss priorities and challenges for education for peace in contexts of increased protracted global crisis and conflicts;
  • Rally influencers and the wider civil society to push forward the movement to bring education into the center of local, national, regional and global peacebuilding efforts;
  • Raise awareness for effective approaches in education for peace and mobilize commitment for their implementation.


Opening Session

Moderator – Richa Gupta, Young Leader for the SDGs

Welcoming remarks

  • Video-message by H.E. Dennis Francis, Permanent Representative of Trinidad and Tobago to the United Nations – President of the General Assembly
  • Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General, United Nations
  • H.E. Martin Kimani, Ambassador, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Permanent Representative of Kenya to the United Nations – Chair, Group of Friends for Education and Lifelong Learning
  • Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director General for Education, UNESCO


  • H.E. Chernor Bah, Minister of Information and Civic Education of Sierra Leone

Musical interlude

  • Jinan Laurentia Woo and Edward Lee, Violinists, The Julliard School

High-Level Panel on strengthening the foundations of peace through education

Moderator – Christopher Castle, Director, Division for Peace and Sustainable Development, UNESCO

Segment 1: Concrete ways education serves as a prevention strategy

  • Emeline O’Hara, Dangerous Speech Project
  • Mavic Cabrera Balleza, Global Network of Women Peace Workers
  • Charles North, Deputy CEO, Global Partnership for Education
  • Video message by Felipe Paullier, Assistant Secretary-General for Youth Affairs

Segment 2: Placing education at the center of global peacebuilding efforts

  • Robert Jenkins, Director of Education and Adolescent Development, UNICEF
  • Julia Paulson, Dean, College of Education, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
  • Anthony Jenkins, Managing Director, International Institute on Peace Education

Segment 3: Q&A with Member States


  • Poem by Salome Agbaroji, 2023/2024 US National Youth Poet Laureate
  • Richa Gupta, Young Leader for the SDGs
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