APCEIU 안과밖2016.06.16 17:51

The 66th United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI) / Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Conference was held in the Gyeongju Hwabaek International Convention Center, Republic of Korea from 30 May to 1 June 2016. The conference was held under the theme ‘Education for Global Citizenship: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals Together.’

The opening ceremony was attended by around 4,000 representatives from civil society, universities and international organizations from over 100 countries. Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn affirmed during the congratulatory speech that the Republic of Korea is, “committed to foster Global Citizenship Education (GCED) through the Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU) under the auspices of UNESCO. GCED is an important instrument that will encourage ownership and voluntary participation of people around the world towards action in implementing and realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

He continued that, “It is imperative for the international society to promote human dignity and
values, as well as humanity’s common destiny to fundamentally approach the multi-faceted issues that we are currently facing. We need to be proactively involved in solving global issues, such as global warming and terrorism.”

During the opening ceremony, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon emphasized that “Education is critical to nurture global citizens who can rise up to the challenges of the 21st century.” He said that, “Let us work together to foster education for global citizenship?education that empowers people to contribute to our common future,”

“As Secretary-General, I have always encouraged young people everywhere to be global citizens. With the right investments in education, youth can be a major force for positive change,” he underscored. In addition, he urged that, “Youth should raise their voice loud and clear so that leaders of our society will hear your dreams and your challenges. I have been speaking to world leaders telling them to please listen carefully and sincerely what the youth’s challenges are.” 

On behalf of the UNESCO, Gwang-Jo Kim, Director of UNESCO Bangkok noted that “Global citizenship is a sense of belonging to a world that is one. All of us can, and must, become global citizens. This starts with the individual, family, community, in schools and out of schools.” 

“UNESCO has been a pioneer in promoting Global Citizenship Education, along with its Institutes, such as APCEIU, as mentioned by Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn this morning. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their valuable contributions. We are leading work on implementing, measuring and tracking Target 4.7 of the education Sustainable Development Goals.” added Mr. Kim.

During the conference, which lasted for three days, there were a total of 4 round tables and 48 workshops, APCEIU organized a workshop on "Bridging Formal and Non-Formal Education through Global Citizenship Education," co-sponsored by  the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA), Kyung Hee Cyber University and UNESCO on 31 May. APCEIU co-sponsored a workshop on the topic of "Cross-Sector Partnerships for Global Citizenship Education” with WFUNA, together with the offices of the National Assembly Member Se Yeon Kim, Happybean Foundation and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) as co-sponsors. 

Utak Chung, Director of APCEIU explained during the workshop that “Since the launch of the UN Secretary-General’s Global Education First Initiative (GEFI), which included GCED as its priority, GCED has received great attention globally. Efforts towards the realization of GCED have led to its inclusion in the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the UNESCO Education 2030. On behalf of APCEIU, he introduced the proposal for a ‘UN Decade of GCED’ to systematically lead action for GCED and strengthen the bridge between formal and non-formal education sectors, including other stakeholders.

The Gyeongju Action Plan was unanimously adopted by the participants on 1 June at the closing ceremony of the conference. It provides concrete measures for members of the civil society around the world to jump-start implementation of the 2030 Agenda with UN and UN Member States.
Especially, the Gyeongju Action Plan has highlighted the important role of ‘UNESCO Clearinghouse on Global Citizenship Education (GCED),’ which is currently hosted by APCEIU, underlining the role of APCEIU as a hub institution for GCED. The Gyeongju Action Plan will be an important guide for the next 15 years of the world civil society. 

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