Education for global citizenship, with support of civil society advocacy and accountability will be instrumental in driving implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, the head of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) underscored today, at the opening of a United Nations conference in Gyeongju, Republic of Korea.
In her opening remarks at the 66th United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI) / Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Conference, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP Dr. Shamshad Akhtar emphasized the importance of proactive and stronger partnerships between governments and NGOs at all levels, including on regional platforms
“With its grass-roots proximity, its potential to enhance accountability and offer effective delivery of services, we count on civil society’s capacities and effective partnership to ensure that ‘no one is left behind,’” said Dr. Akhtar.
“Asia-Pacific NGOs are well known as effective development actors and for their role in service delivery, and now increasingly, they are lending their voices to shape regional debates on sustainable development,” added Dr. Akhtar. “Many governments in the region are expanding development partnerships with NGOs, including for South-South cooperation initiatives across borders.”
The DPI/NGO conference is being held for the first time in Asia, from 30 May to 1 June 2016, under the theme of ‘Education for Global Citizenship: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Together.’
Today, ESCAP shared insights at a roundtable discussion exploring how the education community can ensure that all individuals have the opportunity to learn and grow to their maximum potential as stated in SDG 4 to ‘Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all,’ and why this is crucial to achieving all of the SDGs.
ESCAP also participated in a panel discussion focused on practical investment, policy and advocacy strategies to expand access to science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) education that “leaves no one behind” and proactively reaches out to girls and women.
The conference is being organized in cooperation with the NGO/DPI Executive Committee, the Government of the Republic of Korea and the National Organizing Committee of Korea.