06.03.2018 - Geneva Office

UNESCO advocates for Global Citizenship Education at the UN Human Rights Council

© UNESCO/Zhaocan Li

UNESCO reiterated its full commitment to advance the World Programme for Human Rights Education and highlighted the importance of global citizenship education at the side event on the margins of the 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council.

The event, which took place in the Palais des Nations on 6 March 2018, was organized by the UNESCO Liaison Office in Geneva at the initiative of the NGO Working Group on Human Rights Education. It was co-sponsored by States Platform on Human Rights Education and Training.

Delivering welcoming remarks, Mr. Abdulaziz Almuzaini, Director of the UNESCO Geneva Liaison Office, stressed the timeliness of this discussion, especially in the context of the celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Commenting on the World Program for Human Rights Education, Mr. Almuzaini recalled that the Sustainable Development Goal 4 calls for the collective effort from different stakeholders to build more peaceful, inclusive and democratic societies.

“In this global endeavor, UNESCO is playing its role, by helping to develop policies and strategies and by identifying good practices to advance the objectives of the Education 2030 in general and human rights education in particular,” said the UNESCO Representative.

With reference to different phases in the implementation of the World Programme, Mr. Almuzaini emphasized the need to reinforce the past processes and achievements. “Sustainability in our action is vital for strengthening the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms,” he added.

Mr. Almuzaini further underlined the need for policy makers and educators to adjust the focus of action to the rapidly changing world, one that is marked by numerous turbulences. Education, notably human rights education, should serve the need of today’s world.

Ms. Lydia Ruprecht from the Education Sector of UNESCO, presented the Global Citizenship Education (GCED) Programme. As a panelist, she focused her intervention on the core concept of the GCED, which incorporates human rights education priorities. She underlined the importance of monitoring and evaluation of national implementation to achieve effective results. 

Moderated by Nina Joyce, Graduate Women International Representative to International Organizations, the panel discussion generated a stimulating exchange among the participants who contributed new ideas to the focus of the 4th phase of the World Programme.

The interventions were also made by Ambassador Maurizio Serra, Permanent Representative of Italy to the UN Office in Geneva; Mr. Johan Olhagen from the OHCHR; Ms. Charline Thiéry, Chargée de mission, Commission Nationale Consultative des Droits de l’Homme, Paris, and Mr. Patrice Meyer-Bisch, Président de l’Observatoire de la Diversité et des Droits Culturels, Fribourg.

In accordance with Resolution 36/12, OHCHR is mandated to seek the views of all stakeholders on possible areas or thematic human rights issues to be included in the fourth phase of the World Programme (1 January 2020 - 31 December 2024). A report on it is to be presented to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-ninth session in September 2018.

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