Gyeongju Action Plan, “Education for Global Citizenship: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals Together” Gyeongju, Republic of Korea 30 May – 1 June 2016.

Gyeongju Youth Declaration, 66th DPI/NGO Conference “Education for Global Citizenship: Achieving Development Goals Together”, Gyeongju, South Korea-30 May to 1 June 2016.

On 16 February 2017, DPI/NGO held a meeting on Education for Global Citizenship as a follow up to the 66th DPI/NGO Conference in Gyeongju (see above). This meeting was a collaboration among member states, civil society and the DPI/NGO. Speakers, who participated in the panel discussion: Ambassador Hahn Choonghee, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations; Jeff Brez, Chief NGO Relations, Advocacy and Special Events, Department of Public Information; Mary E. Norton, Felician University, The Franciscan University of New Jersey, Ed.D.; Eunhee Jung, IVECA, Center for International Virtual Schooling; Daniel Perell, Baha’i International Community and the Coalition for Global Citizenship; Maxine Davila, 1+One. Moderator: Holly Shaw, International Council of Nurses and the Nightingale Initiative for Global Health, Ph.D.RN. More information about panelists here.

“We live in a globalized World. People, places and economies are increasingly interdependent and interconnected. Ongoing global challenges are impacting all. Solutions require thinking and acting beyond national borders. Young people want an education that is relevant to their world and aspirations. Global Citizenship Education can help us learn to leave together in peace. It nurtures respect for all, a sense of belonging to common humanity, based on human rights. It helps learners think critically. Understand the interconnections between the local and the global. It builds motivation to engage and assume roles to resolve global challenges. And contributes to a more just and sustainable world. Global citizenship education can be delivered in schools in a variety of subjects. But also, outside of school: community associations, authorities, the media, family. It concerns everybody. Education fosters global citizenship. When students learn about global issues and how these impacting their communities. When young people are getting the opportunity to learn from each other and when they are taught to respect each other’s differences and opinion. Global citizenship education is most effective when teachers engage in participatory approaches to learning and are equipped with appropriate teaching materials. Global citizenship education is most likely to succeed when all girls and boys feel respected as human beings and are encouraged to participate in school life. We can all be global citizens.” –UNSECO Global Citizenship Education.

Ambassador Hahn Choonghee, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations: Global Citizenship Education is one of my lifelong visions and agenda. As you know, we are facing unprecedented challenges, i.e. continued conflict in every area in the World, violent extremism, radicalization. We also see sustainable development challenges, i.e. extreme poverty, gender issues, refugees and inequality, as well as climate change. These challenges are global in a scope and interwoven in their nature. Therefore, we need a holistic approach comprising all three pillars of the United Nations: peace and security, development and human rights. In early January, new Secretary-General Guterres, in his New Year’s address, he emphasized that peace and prevention of conflict as some of the most important and urgent agenda of the United Nations at this moment. He said that peace and prevention of conflict is not just a priority, but the priority for the UN. Ultimately, the goals for the global 2030 agenda for sustainable development will and should be to make every individual a global citizen who is sensible to human dignity, who cares about mother earth, who is responsible for peace and prevents violent extremism. In coming months, from 6-11 March, a big international conference will take place, which will take place in Ottawa, Canada. It will be a bi-annual international forum to strengthen global citizenship education. At that meeting, we will discuss the teachers’ role in promoting global citizenship education. The Republic of Korea also plans to establish a Friends Group to discuss the global citizenship education to raise awareness among UN member states. We hope that we have an opportunity to discuss the proposal that we heard at Gyeongju, as well as the Declaration to establish a day of Global Citizenship. This agenda is very important, but it cannot be done by one group of stakeholder, i.e. public or private sector. We should work together and invite youth to actively engage as the recipients of this discourse.

Jeff Brez, Chief NGO Relations, Advocacy and Special Events, Department of Public Information: Civil society is very much involved in planning process. The fact that this meeting is co-hosted by the UN and the civil society, I think, is a true partnership. Civil society represents a broader community, brings shared responsibilities and shared values. Civil society and the UN, and other stakeholders are coming together, being welcomed by the host country under the United Nations banner, as well as under UN Charter, under the spirit of the Sustainable Development Goals, really draws people together in their purpose. Even though they are involved in such different things on the ground and with such different communities around the world every day. Core dimension of the Global Citizenship and educating Global Citizens: behavioral in the sense of enabling action at the local, national and global levels. We had 3700 from 620 NGOs representing 80 countries at the conference. I really believe that every individual that showed up had the opportunity at least to take the floor: whether it was at the plenary, at the major workshop, or at a smaller workshop and shared their perspectives from all of their realities (local level, national government, etc.) I think the DPI/NGO conference is a way to bring them all together, allow them to share their experiences, go back and affect behavior at the different levels where they work.

Mary E. Norton, Ed.D., Felician University, The Franciscan University of New Jersey: I would like to share with you this afternoon how we at Felician University, which is the Franciscan University of New Jersey have been teaching Global Citizenship since 2007 through its United Nations Program. Brief introduction of the University, why foster Global Citizenship? How we do it at the University? The United Nations affiliation. Outcomes, student responses and conclusions. The heart of Felician University is its Mission Statement: We aim to prepare students to meet the challenges of the new Century with informed minds and understanding hearts, service to others and global understanding. Why foster Global Citizenship? For us it is to implement the Mission of the University, to teach the students the necessary knowledge and skills to become Global Citizens, so they can actively contribute to the political process in a complex and diverse society beyond their own borders. How do we do this? In the year 2006, we became an NGO with the Department of Information, and shortly after that we developed our United Nations Fellows Program: academic credit bearing experiential learning program, develops knowledge and skills for global citizenship and creates collaborative opportunities with other NGOs. What are the learning opportunities? The UN Fellows Program consists of two academic programs (3 academic credits each): when a student takes 6 academic credits, plus their general education requirements, they can get a Minor in Peace and Justice. It integrates theory into practice, it is multidisciplinary, and it helps develop leadership skills and networking. Some of the outcomes of the program have led to new courses and new programs. It also becomes an alternative to study abroad program. Most of our students receive financial aid, they work, they cannot take time off either from work or from other activities to go and study abroad for six months. It also helps develop faculty as Global Citizens: faculty can also participate in these activities. Unexpected outcomes are new programs, new courses (this year we added a new course “International Relations”). Felician has become a destination for study abroad: students come from Asia and the Middle East to take this course. This program was cited in the 2009 Annual Fulbright Program report. I think the Fulbright Program at this particular time in history is really essential. One of the students who was an art student that took this program, participated in the Annual Conference for Climate Change. She used that opportunity to do her end-of-semester art project and presented it here, at the UN. Some other Final Course Projects deal with global issues: social protection and human trafficking.

Photo courtesy of Dr. Norton, Felician University

This is a wonderful example of two schools, UNNGO and faculty and students doing one presentation: two students from Seton Hall University, Joseph Donnely from Caritas, Father Brian Muzas (Seton Hall University) and myself. This program emphasizes the idea that students and faculty working together on projects as collaborators. It gives the students the opportunity to directly work with Governments: Government of Australia, the African Union, and others. Of course, there are benefits to the University by being an NGO: it gives us the opportunity to disseminate UN agenda an information to the academic community as well. In conclusion, the UN experience fosters Global Citizenship, helps us implement the Mission of the University, it helps develop skills in inquiry, analysis, critical thinking and communication.

To watch the speech by other presenters or to watch full video of this briefing here.

-Vera Dimoplon

This guest post was written by Vera Dimoplon. Vera is a graduate student at the Seton Hall School of Diplomacy and International Relations. Her specializations are International Organizations, Global Negotiations and Conflict Management. Vera’s interests are the operation of international organizations in multilateral community, negotiations among multinational actors, and conflict management.

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