Global Citizenship Education at the United Nations: For a just, peaceful, more inclusive world
Last week, I had the amazing opportunity to attend a UN seminar on Global Citizenship Education, convened by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations. While illustrious speakers included UN Ambassadors from Nigeria, the US and Qatar, I was most struck by the work being done by UNESCO and several organizations in the field, such as World Savvy.
Sometimes I feel like global citizenship can be an abstract concept that people struggle to understand, but at the panel I was really encouraged to see organizations doing a lot of work to educate young people about global citizenship and the importance of doing so. As François Gave, Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations put it, “we already live in a ‘global village,’ so why global citizenship education? Because global village is not global friendship or global understanding.”
Accordingly, UNESCO has developed a pedagogical framework for global citizenship to be used by teachers, civil society and government. In addition, Professor William Gaudelli of Columbia University’s Teacher College has developed a course in global competencies in conjunction with Asia Society and World Savvy, who led a workshop at the MF’s Global Citizenship Conference last year, where Fellows learned about global citizenship education among school children.
Each of these initiatives and thoughts chimed really well with the Melton Foundation’s mission, our curriculum, and the work of our Fellows. Next month, Melton Fellows will be working at Mañiuco School in southern Chile to help build a new library and teach the Mapuche children there about global citizenship. Sofia Garcia‐Garcia, of SOS Children’s Villages underlined the importance of this work: “Global citizenship empowers marginalized people by helping them feel part of a wider, inclusive endeavor,” she says.
As we actively promote global citizenship as a way for individuals and organization to work together across boundaries of place and identity to address global challenges, it seems critical to engage students and young people in global citizenship so that they have an understanding of their responsibilities and opportunities to help solve the world’s most pressing problems.
If you want to learn more, you can watch a webcast of the event.