education and pandemics

Focused discussion on identifying ways and means of more meaningful engagement of youth in the work of the General Assembly

Follow-up to the report of the Secretary-General entitled “Our Common Agenda”

Focused discussion on identifying ways and means of more meaningful engagement of youth in the work of the General Assembly

Tuesday, 30 August 2022, at 3:00 pm

Economic and Social Council Chamber, United Nations Headquarters

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, in his report entitled “Our Common Agenda” (A/75/982), calls for a renewal of solidarity across generations, particularly with younger generations, and puts forward a number of concrete recommendations to further that objective.

Paragraph 47 of the report includes a proposal recommending that the “Envoy on Youth will prepare recommendations for more meaningful, diverse and effective youth engagement in UN deliberative and decision-making processes for the consideration of the General Assembly, the Security Council and ECOSOC and their respective subsidiary bodies. This will be done in consultation with the world’s young people.”

The SG’s Envoy on Youth has been invited to provide recommendations on youth engagement in the UN processes for consideration by Member States, and a focused discussion during the seventy-sixth session of the General Assembly on identifying ways and means of engagement of youth in the work of the General Assembly convened by the PGA has been announced.

The focused discussion will serve as a platform for Member States and relevant partners, in line with resolution 76/6, to share views on youth engagement vis-à-vis the work of the General Assembly. The meeting on 30 August 2022 will be followed by a series of broad consultations to be conducted by the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth (OSGEY), including with youth organizations and representatives in line with paragraph 47 of “Our Common Agenda” report, to inform the drafting of the recommendations to be put forward for consideration of Members States ahead of the Summit of the Future.

Please note:

  • Representatives of NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC in possession of valid UN grounds passes are invited to attend.
  • Civil society representatives are welcome to intervene by pressing the microphone button at the appropriate time.

Detailed information, including the Concept Note and Programme can be found at:


CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at For more information on the NGO Committee on Children’s Rights-NY, please visit For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at or

CoNGO president, three other NGO leaders, join in a statement on the International Day of Education 2021

News in French. News in Spanish.

New York City, 24 January 2021 (CoNGO InfoNews) — Education is a human right. Inclusion and equity are crucial for transformative education. Education as common public good requires public funding. Education at primary and secondary levels is universal and adult education primordial. Online education has blessings and perils. Safety and wellbeing is crucial at education venues. Education must be portable across borders. Global citizenship education is critical to multilateral collaboration. Educate to increase hope and decrease fear.

These are the thematic headings of a 26-point statement issued on the occasion of the International Day of Education 2021 by Liberato C. Bautista, president of the Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO), and joined by Maria Helen Dabu, secretary general of the Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education (ASPBAE), Franklin Shaffer, president and chief executive officer of CGFNS International, and Montse Rafel, director general of Dianova International.

The statement reaffirmed education as a human right, a public good and a public responsibility, and must be publicly funded.

The leaders recognized the blessings and perils of online education, naming the digital divide  exacerbated by the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the same vein, they recognized the importance of education especially for health and allied professions and their portability across borders, given the high demand but shortage of health workers at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Education must foster civic engagement, democratic participation and social innovation, ” the statement said. “Now is the time to develop global civic consciousness and innovate on a global civics education that fosters global citizenship and multilateral collaboration. Each of our countries, our people and the planet will be better for it.”

The leaders spoke of basic and adult education in a time of intersecting pandemics. They called for “education to increase hope and decrease fear.”

“Education must expose fear brought about by threats to and violations against the dignity and human rights of persons, such as those generated by increasing racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance that alienate and divide people and communities from one another. These, on top of fears and anxieties resulting from intersecting crises of pandemic proportions—health crisis, racial crisis, climate crisis, migration crisis, economic crisis, violence, and more.”

The statement closed with an urgent call for “advocacy and partnerships for education among civil society organizations, and among NGOs, the UN System, and States.”

Read the full statement here.

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