Looking ahead of the 2024 International Day of Education, celebrated on the 24th of January, this year will be dedicated to “learning for lasting peace”.

The world is seeing a surge of violent conflicts paralleled by an alarming rise of discrimination, racism, xenophobia, and hate speech. An active commitment to peace is more urgent today than ever: Education is central to this endeavor, as underlined by the revised 1974 UNESCO Recommendation on Education for Peace, Human Rights and Sustainable Development.(Nov 2023). 

The revised Recommendation s a non-binding guidance document focusing on how teaching and learning should evolve in the 21st century to bring about lasting peace, reaffirm human rights and promote sustainable development in the face of contemporary threats and challenges. While member states will be requested to report on their progress every four years, the Recommendation can also be used by educators, policymakers, and learners to create a better understanding of concepts such as sustainable development, ESD and global citizenship including a small number of now internationally agreed definitions, guiding principles, and learning objectives.

The text puts emphasis on the following themes:

  • A new understanding of peace
  • Education for sustainable development (ESD)
  • Global citizenship education
  • Gender equality and education
  • Education in the digital era

Now that Member States have adopted the Recommendation on Education for Peace, Human Rights and Sustainable Development, UNESCO will support countries in translating these ideas into action at the local, national, and international levels. 

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