On this International Day, we celebrate and honour the millions of girls around the world who surmount the barriers of inequality and manage to break free from the prejudices to which they have too often been confined.
In order to become a reality, the aspiration for equality, which is at the heart of this Day, is developed and acquired first at school.
Mobilizing for girls’ education means ensuring that millions of girls can define, not endure, their future. It means standing up for a fundamental right. It also means working for what former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, considered to be the most effective tool for the development of our societies.
This fundamental right, however, may be jeopardized by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the 767 million girls confined to their homes at the peak of the crisis, deprived of the meals and support offered by their schools, found themselves at greater risk of forced marriage, domestic violence and early pregnancy. In several countries, gender-based sexual violence, for example, increased by as much as 30 per cent.
At a time when 11 million girls may never return to the emancipatory path of education – when 130 million girls were already out of school before the pandemic – we need to mobilize more than ever.
That is why, at the height of the COVID-19 crisis, UNESCO launched the Global Education Coalition, bringing together nearly 150 partners and acting in 70 countries.
This enabled us to launch, for example, a global communication campaign to support the return of girls to school.
Such mobilization is essential in order not to lose the ground gained over the past 25 years, since the 1995 Beijing Declaration.
Indeed, as shown in the UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report focusing on gender equality, which we are releasing on this International Day, 180 million girls have accessed primary or secondary education since 1995; and in higher education, the number of female students has even tripled in the last 25 years.
Our latest report does not, however, ignore the many gender inequalities that remain – for example, in rural areas of the least developed countries, only two percent of girls manage to complete a full secondary education.
That is why UNESCO, for many years, has poured all its energy into this fight for equality.
In this context, our initiative “Her education, our future” continues to produce its effects. By promoting better data and better public policies, and sharing best educational practices, it aims to defeat gender inequalities at the roots.
In order to build a more just and prosperous world, UNESCO would therefore like to call on everyone – States, regional organizations and civil society – to make gender equality a daily commitment and a requirement.
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2020 International Conference of NGOs (ICNGO)
16-18 December 2020
The 2020 International Conference will take place from 16 to 18 December 2020.
Please note that, considering the current world sanitary conditions, the Conference will be held online.
An official invitation will soon be sent to NGOs in official partnership with UNESCO specifying the details of the Conference’s proceedings.
Message from Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of the International Day of Peace
21 September 2020
“Peace on earth is everyone’s responsibility; it is a universal responsibility.”
On this International Day of Peace, these words, spoken by Otomí Tolteca, a member of Mexico’s indigenous Otomí community, remind us of our duty to show solidarity towards our fellow human beings; the building and defending of peace is a universal enterprise, a collective undertaking, which is carried out daily and which concerns us all.
Being responsible for peace means acting, on a personal scale, to overcome the flaws and injustices which continue to prevent us from achieving an egalitarian world. Because a fractured planet is a planet which knows no peace.
Seventy-five years ago, in the aftermath of a terrible war, the world equipped itself with an instrument for building peace over time, through dialogue and compromise: the United Nations.
At UNESCO it is our conviction that this mission must necessarily and from the very outset involve work on education, culture and science, given that, as expressed in our Constitution, “since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed”.
Ours is a conviction held firmly in both the mind and the heart: every day, through our programmes and our actions in the field, UNESCO reaffirms our founders’ commitment to ensuring that peace is more than just the absence of war. It is this commitment which we resolutely honour throughout the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022).
Nevertheless, because peace requires daily effort and entails transformation, the path towards universal peace is a long one. Félix Houphouët-Boigny, the first President of an independent Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, liked to say that “Peace is not a word, but a behaviour”. We celebrate his legacy by awarding the Félix Houphouët-Boigny – UNESCO Peace Prize.
Now more than ever, solidarity and cooperation are essential to building peaceful societies and fighting against discrimination, particularly the kinds of discrimination to which the world’s most vulnerable populations are subjected.
On the occasion of this International Day, our Organization calls on everyone to engage in dialogue and to share ideas about the future with due respect for diversity of opinion and of perspective. This is a challenge we must face together in order to achieve lasting peace worldwide.
To ensure that young people are at the center of the #SaveOurFuture campaign, we are asking youth (under the age of 35 ) around the world to tell us about their hopes for the future.
This survey will capture your ideas, your priorities, and most importantly, your vision for the future, and how education can help get us there.
The results from this survey will feed into a global action plan that will be presented to world leaders in September and provide an evidence-based roadmap with concrete actions to build education systems back better.
If you wish to include your organization’s logo on the campaign website (which will link to your site) – please join us by uploading your logo and info here.
In the last few months the Coordination Group of the UNESCO Collective Consultation of NGOs on Education 2030 has held two virtual meetings in order to realize our main objective to support the implementation of SDG 4 – Education 2030.
We have elaborated a very short survey (10 minutes to fill, deadline 11 June 2020) to ask you about States and civil society responses throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in order to protect the right of education. This survey will guide future learning opportunities to build our capacity for action, advocacy and cooperation here
Read the interview with Muriel Poisson of UNESCO’s International Institute for Educational Planning on open government - government-citizen interaction which relies on the principles of transparency, citizen engagement, and participation as well as government responsiveness.
Interview in English
As part of UNESCO’s response to COVID-19 education disruption (#LearningNeverStops), we asked students, teachers and parents from the UNESCO Associated Schools Network to share their stories on how they are coping with school closures and continuing to learn at home.
We’re now inviting students, teachers and parents everywhere to share their testimonies directly on their own social media accounts by recording and posting their short videos, tagging @unesco and using the hashtag #LearningNeverStops. More tips and instructions are available here.
Check out this short teaser and watch some of the testimonies below:
Many thanks for your support in promoting UNESCO’s call to amplify voices from around the world on how learning never stops – even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In these challenging times, today more than ever, sport can contribute to peace by inspiring the respect of rules, enhancing determination and hope for the future.
As you know April6, the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace is approaching and we strongly believe that this represents a propitious day to continue sending a message of global solidarity, respect of the rules and reinforce fraternity and cooperation.
This year Peace and Sport encourages everyone to honor this international day by getting mobilized digitally and using creativity. Webinars, photo contests, online tournaments, and #WhiteCard photos are all initiatives that can be set up everywhere to be part of this global and digital solidarity movement.
As a sign of your commitment, we invite you to participate in the #WhiteCard operation around April 6th.
As a reference to the yellow and the red card in the sporting world, since 2014 a #WhiteCard is a symbol representing the positive power of sport for peace and social inclusion. Behind each WhiteCard, there is a story: that’s the core message of the 2020 #WhiteCard campaign. It seeks to highlight and draw attention to the stories of individuals and beneficiaries who have been positively impacted by sport all around the globe on social media.
Below you will find further information on the #WhiteCard campaign, a social media toolkit, some examples of meaningful stories, and some ideas to get mobilized digitally. For more detailed information, please visit the www.april6.org platform and register your initiative.
The 9th Global Meeting of the Collective Consultation of NGOs for Education 2030 (CCNGO-Education 2030) was held in Hammamet, Tunisia on 2- 3 December, 2019. Over the course of 2 days, the over 150 participants deliberated on how to strengthen inclusion and equity in education as a human right and public good.
You can find the article Civil society education advocates kick off global meeting in Tunisia, the concept note and program, the photos and videos of the meeting by clicking on the following link https://en.unesco.org/news/civil-society-education-advocates-kick-global-meeting-tunisia and on twitter @education2030UN #CCNGO2019 #Edu2030NGOs
The article Civil society: Social and political action to prioritize education on political agendas and the photo and composition of the CCNGO coordinating group will be accessed by clicking on the following link https://en.unesco.org/news/civil-society-social-and-political-action-prioritize-education-political-agendas
You can read the Outcome statement of the 9th Collective Consultation of NGOs on Education 2030 by clicking HERE : CCNGO 2019 Outcome Statement