United Nations Literacy Decade (2003 - 2012)

The United Nations Literacy Decade (UNLD), which ended on 31 December 2012, was a UN initiative launched in 2003 to provide an impetus for achieving the six Education for All (EFA) goals and developing literate environments. These are essential for eradicating poverty, reducing child mortality, curbing population growth, achieving gender equality and ensuring sustainable development, peace and democracy.  

The slogan of the Decade, “Literacy as Freedom” recognized literacy as a human right to be actively promoted and defended. The UNLD addressed a renewed vision of literacy to encompass the learning needs of children, youth and adults alike, in all settings and contexts.    

At the request of the UN General Assembly, UNESCO, along with its Member States, relevant UN agencies and other development partners, is coordinating the UNLD final evaluation, to be presented at the UN General Assembly in 2013. 

Back to top