29.11.2017 - New York Office

United Nations General Assembly highlights UNESCO’s leading role in coordination of the Education 2030 Agenda

New York: On 28 November 2017, the United Nations General Assembly adopted with consensus the resolution ‘Education for Sustainable Development in the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’.

General Assembly resolution, introduced by the Group 77 and China in an effort to continue the legacy of the United Nations Decade for Education for Sustainable Development, calls to scale up education for sustainable development action through the implementation of the Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development. It covers various aspects of education for sustainable development and more broadly the implementation of SDG 4 and other education related targets.

With the adoption of the resolution, the international community stresses UNESCO’s mandated role in leading and coordinating the Education 2030 agenda, through the SDG Education 2030 Steering Committee, the global multi-stakeholder consultation and coordination mechanism for education in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.   

It also emphasizes UNESCO’s lead on Education for Sustainable Development, and calls on the Organization to continue to provide coordination for the implementation of the Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development (GAP ESD) .  Aichi-Nagoya Declaration and the Incheon Declaration are referred to as important framework documents for the advancement of the education agenda.

For the first time, the resolution explicitly recognizes education for sustainable development as ‘an integral element of the Sustainable Development Goal on quality education’ and ‘key enabler of all the other Sustainable Development Goals’. It reaffirms ESD’s role in promoting and enhancing public awareness of the eradication of poverty, sustainable consumption and production, combating climate change, building disaster-resilient communities and promoting a culture of peace and non-violence.

Through the resolution, the UN General assembly reiterates its call to the member states to provide inclusive and equitable education at all levels and ensure that people may have access to lifelong learning opportunities that help them to acquire knowledge and skills needed to exploit opportunities to participate fully in society and contribute to sustainable development.

In the negotiations process, the international community considered the findings and recommendations of the UNESCO Director-General’s report on the implementation of education for sustainable development while it further emphasized the importance to support early childhood education, and to promote tertiary education, skills training and vocational education in conflict and crisis situations.

UN Secretary-General is requested to submit a report on the implementation of the present resolution to the General Assembly at it’s seventy-forth session.

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