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implementing the sustainable development goals

Education for Global Citizenship: An Emerging Approach to Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals

Joan Lurie, ICJW Representative at the UN in NY, reports on a  briefing held on  16 February, 2017 in  the UN ECOSOC chamber. It was very well attended and most of the attendees were students representing various colleges with programs promoting  education for Global Citizenship and teaching better understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

This briefing was a follow up to last year’s 66th DPI/NGO conference entitled “Education for Global Citizenship: Achieving the SDGs Together”. The conference was held in Gyeongju, South Korea from 30 May to 1 June 2016. One of the interesting outcomes of the conference was a Youth Declaration.

Holly Shaw, Ph. D., R.N., International Council of Nurses and The Nightingale Initiative for Global Health was the moderator.

H. E. Ambassador Hahn Choonghee, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea, was the first speaker. He is widely considered a visionary and is committed to education for global citizenship. He is also a realist and noted the challenges: conflicts, violent extremism and radicalism, gender issues and climate change. To overcome these challenges the UN must focus on peace and prevention of conflict and post conflict rehabilitation and reconciliation. He is in favor of a new educational paradigm to help youth understand the need for and the concept of global citizenship. SDG 4.7 addresses this.
From March 6 to 11 in Ottawa there will be a conference on global citizenship which he will attend. It will address the teacher’s role, curriculum and utility of this concept achieving the SDGs.

Jeffrey Brez, Chief, NGO Relations, Advocacy and Special Events, DPI began by quoting Kant who advocated for peace to be achieved through changes in how people think.
He discussed last year’s DPI/NGO conference and emphasized that these conferences are co-hosted by the UN and NGOs. Among the themes:
 The right to accessible, safe spaces for education
 STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics – all must be part of the curriculum.
 Children and youth must be a priority.
He stated that the outcome document of the conference had been distributed to all member states.

Mary Norton, Ed. D., Felician University, The Franciscan University of New Jersey described how a small school like Felician has been able to create a UN program in which global citizenship is taught. The UN Fellowship program at the university has been funded since Felician became an accredited NGO in 2006. She introduced some of her students, one of whom commented that nations must forgive each other for past tragedies or there will never be peace.

Dr. Jung of IVECA, Center for International Virtual Schooling, discussed her ideas on what constitutes a curriculum for inter-culturally competent global citizenship. The interculturally competent citizen is defined by several parameters including knowledge, awareness and language proficiency!

Daniel Perell of the Bahai International Community and the Coalition for Global Citizenship has put together a coalition of those interested in achieving global citizenship by 2030. It meets once a month and is trying to raise awareness of the concepts of global citizenship.
Maxine Davila of 1+One was the final speaker. Her organization has developed a Toolkit for educators and is applying it in several schools in NYC including Brooklyn Technical High School.