UNESCO

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

Cultural events cancelled, cultural institutions closed, community cultural practices suspended, empty UNESCO World Heritage sites, heightened risk of looting of cultural sites and poaching at natural sites, artists unable to make ends meet and the cultural tourism sector greatly affected… The impact of COVID-19 on the cultural sector is being felt around the world. This impact is social, economic and political – it affects the fundamental right of access to culture, the social rights of artists and creative professionals, and the protection of a diversity of cultural expressions.

The unfolding crisis risks deepening inequalities and rendering communities vulnerable. In addition, the creative and cultural industries (CCI) contribute US$2,250bn to the global economy (3% of GDP) and account for 29.5 million jobs worldwide. The economic fall-out of not addressing the cultural sector – and all auxiliary services, particularly in the tourism sector – could also be disastrous. (source “Culture & COVID-19: Impact and Response Tracker – Issue 2

Why does cultural diversity matter?

Three-quarters of the world’s major conflicts have a cultural dimension. Bridging the gap between cultures is urgent and necessary for peace, stability and development.

Cultural diversity is a driving force of development, not only with respect to economic growth, but also as a means of leading a more fulfilling intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual life. This is captured in the culture conventions, which provide a solid basis for the promotion of cultural diversity. Cultural diversity is thus an asset that is indispensable for poverty reduction and the achievement of sustainable development.

At the same time, acceptance and recognition of cultural diversity – in particular through innovative use of media and Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) – are conducive to dialogue among civilizations and cultures, respect and mutual understanding.

To read more about the origin of this observance and peruse relevant materials, visit un.org/en/observances/cultural-diversity-day.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org

 

UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development

Education for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

Our planet and its inhabitants are under increasing pressure: Human-induced climate change, limited and recklessly exploited resources, rising temperatures and sea levels, pollution and shrinking biodiversity are just a few of the issues governments and populations face around the world. The current Covid-19-pandemic amplifies existing weaknesses and challenges in our societies.

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is crucial to empower people to have the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes to meet these crises and other sustainable development challenges. The new ESD for 2030 framework provides us with an important opportunity to move away from the disastrous path of climate and other emergencies by transforming our societies through education.

The UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development will highlight the crucial role of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) as a key enabler for the successful achievement of all SDGs, the COVID rebuilding process, and to create momentum for strengthening ESD in policy and practice.

The Conference will take place as virtual event. Further information on participation and how to register for the Conference will be made available shortly on this website. Read the full concept note here.

All UNESCO Member States will be invited to attend the event and nominate a delegation including participants from diverse backgrounds.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-New York, please visit ngocsd-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN.

World Press Freedom Global Conference

This year’s World Press Freedom Day theme “Information as a Public Good” serves as a call to affirm the importance of cherishing information as a public good, and exploring what can be done in the production, distribution and reception of content to strengthen journalism, and to advance transparency and empowerment while leaving no one behind. The theme is of urgent relevance to all countries across the world. It recognizes the changing communications system that is impacting on our health, our human rights, democracies and sustainable development.

To underline the importance of information within our online media environment, World Press Freedom Day 2021 will highlight three key topics:

  • Steps to ensure the economic viability of news media;
  • Mechanisms for ensuring transparency of Internet companies;
  • Enhanced Media and Information Literacy (MIL) capacities that enable people to recognize and value, as well as defend and demand, journalism as a vital part of information as a public good.

The 2021 Global Conference is hosted by UNESCO and the Government of Namibia. It will take place on 29 April – 3 May in Windhoek. The event will be a physical and digital experience combining virtual and in-presence participation. Register now to be part of the regional forums, side events, keynotes, artistic showcases, films screenings and more! Join media leaders, activists, policymakers, media and legal experts, artists and researchers from all over the world.

The Conference will call for urgent attention to the threat of extinction faced by local news media around the world, a crisis worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. It will put forward ideas to tackle the challenges of our online media environment, push for more transparency of internet companies, strengthen safety of journalists, and improve their working conditions. The Conference will also call to support independent media and empower citizens to face these challenges. The Conference is hosted by UNESCO and the Government of Namibia and will be a digital experience combining virtual and in-presence participation. Selected sessions will take place physically in Windhoek, respecting physical distancing and other precautions recommended by the health authorities.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN. For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bknotts@uua.org or bobbinassar@gmail.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit  ngosocdev.org.

ESD for 2030 Framework and the Berlin Conference: Time to Act – Now or Never

This online workshop summarizes the learnings from the series of online workshops and highlights the focus areas of the new framework ESD for 2030, as well as its roadmap on the way forward, from UNESCO World Conference on ESD in Berlin, Germany and beyond.

Register here!

Related to this series, UNESCO recently published an ESD for 2030 Roadmap, which provides guidance for Member States and other stakeholders for the implementation of the new global framework ‘Education for Sustainable Development: Towards achieving the SDGs’ (ESD for 2030).

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org.

Girls and Women: Leading the Charge to Ensure #LearningNeverStops

This virtual event will offer an intergenerational space for dialogue and profile the extraordinary steps taken by extraordinary girls and women of all ages and in all contexts to support girls’ continuity in learning and their safe return to school.

This event will take place on Zoom, with simultaneous interpretation in English, French and Spanish. Register here to participate. The event will be livestreamed on the UNWebTV.

Background:

In April 2020, schooling was disrupted for over 1.5 billion learners in more than 190 countries following nationwide closures to contain the spread of COVID-19. Today, a year into the crisis, over 800 million students are still out of school, students are on average losing two-thirds of an academic year and more than 20 million girls are projected to be at risk of dropping out.

This unprecedented disruption to education has the potential to roll back substantial gains made on girls’ education in recent decades, with broader immediate and longer-term effects on the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, including those related to poverty reduction, health and well-being, inclusive quality education and gender equality.

The priority theme of the 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) recognises the critical role girls and women play as leaders and decision-makers in all aspects of public life to achieve gender equality, eliminate gender-based violence, and empower women and girls. This virtual event, held on the sidelines of CSW, will offer an intergenerational space for dialogue, and profile the extraordinary steps taken by extraordinary girls and women of all ages and in all contexts to support girls’ continuity of learning during school closures and return to school.

On March 24, leaders will aim to speak on behalf of the millions of at-risk girls whose voices are going unheard. They will highlight the essential need to build back equal through gender-transformative education systems that end harmful gender norms, free girls and boys from narrow aspirations and enable them to work together in the classroom today for a more equal world tomorrow.

This CSW65 event is hosted by UNESCO, PLAN International, the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative, the Permanent Mission of Kenya to the United Nations, the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations, the Permanent Mission of the Argentine Republic to the United Nations, the Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations, and the Permanent Mission of Norway to the United Nations.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-NY, please visit ngocsw.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Geneva, please visit ngocsw-geneva.ch. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Vienna, please visit ngocswvienna.org

Education for Sustainable Development and Lifestyles: Re-designing Consumption and Production

UNESCO ESD Online workshop #6

Education for Sustainable Development and Lifestyles: Re-designing Consumption and Production

Register here!

Concept/background:

Climate change, shrinking forests, declining biodiversity and world food shortages are all results of the fact that we are demanding more from nature than it can supply.

To build a more sustainable world, attitudes and behaviours must change at different levels: individual, community, national, regional and global.  In this perspective, education is particularly relevant for achieving responsible sustainable consumption and production.

But concretely, how can Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) help accelerate transformation towards more sustainable economies and societies? Discussions will focus on the following questions:

  • What is the role of education, in particular Education for Sustainable Development, to promote alternative lifestyles/livelihoods in response to consumerism?
  • How can ESD promote reflection on new lifestyles that combine well-being, quality of life, responsible production and respect for nature and other people?

Speakers:

Mr. Palmiro Ocampo, Chef and founder of the NGO Ccocori Cocina Óptima, Peru

Ms. Bridget Ringdahl, Environmental Education Project manager, Water Explorer/Global Search for Sustainable Schools, African Conservation Trust, South Africa

Mr. Yann Le Tallec, Director Government & Public Affairs, Europe, Middle East and Africa, The LEGO Group

Mr. Tom Green, Ecological economist, Climate Solutions Policy Analyst, David Suzuki Foundation, Canada

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CoNGO Notes:
For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org.

Education for Sustainable Development: A Driver for Building Back Better

Consisting of a briefing session and a panel discussion on the crucial role of Education for Sustainable Development as a key enabler of successful achievement of the SDGs, especially within the context of Building Back Better from the COVID-19 pandemic, this event will provide a platform for participants from the UN Member States, UNESCO, other intergovernmental organizations and academia will engage with audience members.

Register here.

The virtual briefing will bring together Member States, key UN agencies and education experts around 4 objectives:

  • Highlight ways to harness the transformative power of ESD in achieving sustainable societies and sensitize the UN membership on the latest developments and trends;
  • Share the best practices on how ESD can contribute to building back better from the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Facilitate exchange of good practices and provide a platform for the UN Member States to engage with key UN agencies and leading education experts on advancing ESD and integrating it into education plans and programmes;
  • Provide updates on the preparation and objectives of the upcoming World Conference on ESD.

The briefing session on Education for Sustainable Development is organized by the Group of Friends for Education and Lifelong Learning, as co-chaired by the Permanent Missions of Argentina, Czech Republic, Japan, Kenya and Norway, together with UNESCO.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org.

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and the Climate Emergency: ‘Flatten the Curve for Climate Change’

Join UNESCO for a global series of online workshops on how to transform society through learning with Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), launching in September 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a tragic impact on human life around the world: killing hundreds of thousands of people, causing global economic decline and school closures in over 180 countries. ESD reassesses what we learn, where we learn and how we learn to ensure we develop the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes that enable us to make informed decisions and actions on global problems such as the climate crisis and the COVID-19 crisis.

Transforming learning to transform societies towards sustainability is the aim of the ESD for 2030 framework. This roadmap for ESD in 2020-2030 will be officially launched at the UNESCO World Conference on ESD taking place on 17-19 May 2021, in Berlin, Germany. In the lead-up to the World Conference, UNESCO invite you to a series of ESD online workshops in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany, and with the German Commission for UNESCO as advisory partner. The discussions and results from the series of online workshops will be used to further develop the conference program and help shape the agenda in Berlin next year.

Feb. 10, 2021, will be the 5th session in the series. The theme will be “ESD and Climate Emergency: Bend the curve for climate change”

This online workshop will raise the parallels between the pandemic and climate emergency and discuss how the lessons learned from the public response to the Covid-19 crisis can help ‘flatten the curve of climate change,’ in particular through ESD’s contribution.

Register & learn more: https://en.unesco.org/themes/education-sustainable-development/ESDfor2030-workshops

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org

ESD and Climate Emergency: Bend the curve for climate change

UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development – Pre-conference workshops

Since COVID-19 outbreak, the world’s attention has been focused on the pandemic and the coordination of the emergency response to the crisis. Meanwhile, major sustainable development challenges, including the greatest challenge of our times – climate change – remain unresolved.

Human activities such as burning fossil fuels, cutting down rainforests and farming livestock are responsible for the rise of the earth’s temperature. The only way to counter climate change is to transform our lifestyles and establish sustainable patterns of consumption and production worldwide.

Education has been recognized as a crucial element to counter climate change and is one of the priority areas of Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) because it has the power to transform the way people feel, think and behave. Education contributes to raising awareness on the physical mechanisms and the emergency of climate change and its impacts. Education empowers people to take action by promoting values, problem solving and critical thinking skills.

But, concretely, how can this happen? How can Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) contribute to urgent action for green and sustainable societies in light of the climate emergency?

This workshop will raise the parallels between the pandemic and climate emergency and discuss how the lessons learned from the public response to the Covid-19 crisis can help ‘flatten the curve of climate change,’ in particular through ESD’s contribution. This installment will also address the aforementioned question looking at examples from youth action and from formal education, and will review some recent data.

Register here: https://unesco-org.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_C482BnaSQVWNpW5f5EYIRQ

Read more: https://en.unesco.org/themes/education-sustainable-development/ESDfor2030-workshops

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN.

International Day of Education: Recover & Revitalize Education for the COVID-19 generation

International Day of Education: Recover and revitalize education for the COVID-19 generation 

Monday 25 January 2021, 8am – 11am EST

Website: en.unesco.org/commemorations/educationday

RSVP link: on.unesco.org/IDEzoom

Watch online at webtv.un.org/ and use hashtags #PowerEducation #EducationDay

This third International Education Day occurs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that led to a global learning disruption of unprecedented scale and severity. The closure of schools, universities and other learning institutions, as well as the interruption of many literacy and lifelong learning programmes, has affected the lives of 1.6 billion students in over 190 countries. As a new year begins, now is the time to step up collaboration and international solidarity to place education and lifelong learning at the centre of the recovery and the transformation towards more inclusive, safe and sustainable societies.

This event will highlight the urgency to mobilize funding for education; give voice to ‘community heroes’ who acted to leave no learner behind during school closures and present innovations that pave the way towards more resilient and inclusive education systems. The celebration of International Education Day by UNESCO will be organized in partnership with several partners, including the Global Partnership for Education and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies (CRI), and feature the participation of partners from the Global Education Coalition.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN. For more information on the NGO Committee for Rare Diseases, please visit ngocommitteerarediseases.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Children’s Rights, please visit childrightsny.org.

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