» At the UN, Member States discuss the new Global Alliance for Literacy
06.10.2016 - Education Sector

At the UN, Member States discuss the new Global Alliance for Literacy

On 4 October 2016, UNESCO presented the Director-General’s report on ‘Literacy for life: shaping future agendas’ to the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly.

Member States participating in this Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee discussed ways to advance social development, focusing on youth, ageing and efforts to achieve literacy worldwide.

As part of the discussions, Mr Venkata Subbarao Ilapavuluri, Chief Programme Coordinator at the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, presented the report on ‘Literacy for life: shaping future agendas’ pursuant to General Assembly resolution 69/141.

He highlighted that the ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development aims at ‘a world with universal literacy’ and that ‘literacy is a development accelerator contributing to the realization of an equitable, inclusive and sustainable world’.

Furthermore, he stressed that ‘while literacy is a driver for sustainable development, advancement in other areas of sustainable development creates a conducive environment for people to acquire, use and advance their literacy skills’.

Member States were called upon to scale-up innovative literacy programmes for children, youth and adults, with particular attention to disadvantaged and marginalized groups, including girls, women, indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities and children, youth and adults in humanitarian emergencies.

Need for collective action

Additionally, the report’s specific recommendations for achieving sustainable development goals were outlined and consequently discussed with a special focus on the need for an intersectoral, synergistic, collective action through the Global Alliance for Literacy (GAL). This partnership would advance literacy within the framework of lifelong learning and as an effective platform for achieving tangible outcomes at global, regional, national and community level. It would create synergies with other initiatives, including the Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education and UNESCO’s Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC).

Representatives of Member States engaged in dialogue with Mr Venkata Subbarao and used the opportunity to stress their firm commitment to the realization of SDG 4 as a human right and a public good, while emphasizing the need for the provision of quality education and for achieving gender equality throughout the education system.

Initial discussions on the draft General Assembly resolution on Literacy started with the participation of UNESCO’s representative. The resolution that is introduced by Mongolia and 80 sponsoring member states will be finalized and adopted by the Third Committee of the General Assembly of the United Nations at its 71st session.

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