The Third UNESCO Forum on GCED, which opened on 8 March 2017 in Ottawa, Canada, brought together leading experts, practitioners and policymakers from around the world to examine pedagogical approaches and teaching practices, and to ensure that practical change is brought into classrooms.
“Teachers are on the frontlines of bringing GCED into learning environments. Without confident, qualified and well-prepared teachers, we cannot advance GCED,” said UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education, Qian Tang, at the official opening of the Forum.
Ambassador Elaine Ayotte, Permanent Delegate of Canada to UNESCO, underlined the essential contribution of educators in building competencies that foster awareness of today’s realities that affect all peoples from all cultures.
Ambassador Choong-hee Hahn, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations, described the momentum building among policy makers at the global level, and Member States’ commitment to equip the next generation with the tools of tolerance and cultural literacy.
Utak Chung, Director of the Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding, renewed the Centre’s support towards global advancement of GCED and reaffirmed that fostering global citizenship is not just the UN or UNESCO’s agenda, but ultimately a global agenda.
Teachers’ crucial role for achieving Target 4.7
With teachers as the central theme of the third UNESCO GCED Forum, the focus has been to draw attention to educators’ fundamental role in improving learning about, and for, global citizenship.
In a context where learners are increasingly learning through a diversity of channels, the role of teachers is bound to evolve. Teachers are not only the transmitters of knowledge. They have a role to play in developing learners’ knowledge, skills and attitudes that promote peace and sustainable development. Teachers are the agents of change who can ensure countries achieve of Target 4.7 of the SGD on Education.
The event also included the active participation of teachers from UNESCO’s Associated Schools Network (ASPnet) along with 50 youth delegates selected by the Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP).
The UNESCO Week for Peace and Sustainable Development: the Role of Education (6-10 March 2017) also included the GAP Review Forum, as well as a joint day where the official opening took place.
The UNESCO Week is organized jointly by UNESCO and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO 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.
Follow the GCED Forum on Twitter using #UNESCOweekED.