UNESCO Week on Peace and Sustainable Development highlights teachers’ role in achieving Global Development Agenda

More than 400 experts, practitioners and policymakers from the public, non-governmental and private sector from all regions will attend UNESCO Week on Peace and Sustainable Development: The Role of Education, in Ottawa, Canada from 6 to 10 March.

Organized by UNESCO and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, the event will focus on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and Global Citizenship Education (GCED) and their contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), notably Target 4.7 of SDG 4 on Education. During the Week, experts will examine pedagogical approaches and teaching practices in promoting ESD and GCED.

“Learning to live together and protecting our planet are basic conditions for securing a more peaceful and sustainable future,” says UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova. “This is about daily actions, attitudes and behaviours that are guided by awareness of our interdependence, respect for shared values and openness to other cultures. These must be integrated into education systems everywhere, so that every student grows up to become a caring and responsible global citizen.”

UNESCO will launch a new publication on this occasion, “Education for Sustainable Development Goals: Learning Objectives,” to support policy-makers, curriculum developers and educators to promote learning for the SDGs. The publication contains suggestions and classroom activities to address each goal.

Teachers of UNESCO’s Associated Schools (ASPnet) will also be attending the event, along with 50 young delegates.

From 6 to 8 March, the Global Review Forum for the Global Action Programme (GAP) will take stock of progress since 2014, when the programme was launched, and examine the way forward.

From 8 to 10 March, the Third GCED Forum will highlight good policies and practices for teachers and teacher trainers.

Ms Bokova, Catherine McKenna, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Mitzie Hunter, Minister of Education (Ontario Provincial Parliament), Ambassador Dessima Williams, Special Adviser to the President of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly, and Fred van Leeuwen, Secretary-General of Education International, will take the floor on 8 March, when the two fora come together.

This session will be followed by an intergenerational dialogue between youth and senior officials, organized by the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP). This “Talking Across Generations” (TAGe) session will be broadcast on webstream with live discussions on Twitter under the hashtag #UNESCOweekED.

In support of the Week, the UNESCO Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report will also launch a youth photo contest on ESD and GCED on 6 March. More here.

Finally, UNESCO’s MGIEP will launch an SDG-inspired video game in which players help solve global problems such as displacement, disease, deforestation, drought and pollution at the community level.*

The UNESCO Week is organized with financial support from UNESCO, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan through the UNESCO Japanese Funds-in-Trust for ESD. Additional support for the Week is provided by the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada, the Global Centre for Pluralism and the Canadian Museum of History.

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