Even though the world is becoming more interconnected, human rights violations, inequality, and poverty continue to threaten peace and sustainability. UNESCO’s response to these challenges is Global Citizenship Education (GCED). It works by empowering learners of all ages to recognize that these are global issues rather than local ones and to become active promoters of more peaceful, tolerant, inclusive, secure, and sustainable societies.
GCED is a strategic component of UNESCO’s Education Sector program that expands on the work of Peace and Human Rights Education. It seeks to instill in students the values, attitudes, and behaviors that promote responsible global citizenship, such as creativity, innovation, and a commitment to peace, human rights, and sustainable development.
UNESCO’s work in this area is based on its Constitution, which aims to “build peace in the minds of men and women,” the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Education 2030 Agenda and Framework for Action, particularly Target 4.7 of the Sustainable Development Agenda, the Recommendation Concerning Education for International Understanding, Cooperation, and Peace, and Education relating to Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1974), and the World Programme for Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (2005-ongoing).
UNESCO has several special themes under the GCED umbrella: Education to prevent violent extremism Holocaust education and genocide education Education in languages and the promotion of the rule of law through global citizenship education.
To disseminate GCED, UNESCO collaborates with an extensive global network, including its own Category 1 institutes, other UN agencies, and inter-governmental organizations, including regional organizations, most notably: the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP), the International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA), the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), the Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Cooperation (APCEIC).
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