United Nations alert that education should be a clear priority

On 17 December 2021, United Nations General Assembly adopted by consensus the resolution entitled “Education for sustainable development in the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” and called on member states to strengthen their efforts to prioritize education in the response and recovery from the pandemic.

Amidst COVID 19 continued crisis, the international community agreed that the focus should be put on safely reopen educational institutions for in-person learning, based on scientific evidence and in consideration of local contexts. Member states also recommitted to prioritize students and educators’ health, ensuring that reopening plans are equity-oriented, gender-responsive and inclusive, mainstreaming education for sustainable development as key in building resilient systems.

United Nations General Assembly acknowledge the important Berlin Declaration on Education for Sustainable Development, the outcome statement of the 2021 World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development organized by UNESCO and the Government of Germany as the next milestone in advancing environmental education. It also reminded the international community of previously taken agreements under the 2014 World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development, the World Education Forum 2015, and the Education 2030 Framework for Action. UNESCO’s leadership on Sustainable Development Goal 4 and on Education for Sustainable Development has been reiterated in this edition of the resolution as well.

Expressing concern on the impact of COVID-19 on Education, which exacerbated pre-existing inequities between and within education systems, the resolution also reaffirmed the importance of investing in accessible learning platforms and safely reopening schools as soon as possible. It further appreciated success stories in the response to the COVID 19 schools closures such as concerted efforts by the Global Education Coalition.

UNESCO is called upon to “continue its mandate role to lead and coordinate the Education 2030 Agenda, particularly through the renewed Global Education Cooperation Mechanism a remodelled Sustainable Development Goal 4-Education 2030 High-level Steering Committee to serve as the global education coordination body in the framework of the 2030 Agenda.