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UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development - FAQ

General information


Practical information




General information

What is the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)? Where and when will it take place?

The UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is an online global conference gathering decision makers and professionals from the world’s education and sustainable development communities. It will mobilize support for ESD for 2030, the UNESCO programme on ESD for the next decade, while also raising global awareness on sustainable development challenges and the crucial role of ESD as a key enabler for the successful achievement of all SDGs; the Conference will:

  • adopt the Berlin Declaration which will include a call for urgent action and commitments from the participants of the Conference;
  • foster stakeholder commitments to the new framework ESD for 2030, including country initiatives for ESD for 2030;
  • expand and reinforce partnerships and networking opportunities for ESD.

The Conference, originally planned for June 2020, was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Conference will be held as a virtual conference from 17 – 19 May 2021.

Who is organizing the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development?

The Conference is organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in cooperation with and generously supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany, and with the German Commission for UNESCO as advisory partner.

What is ESD for 2030?

ESD for 2030 is a new framework on Education for Sustainable Development approved by the UNESCO General Conference at its 40th Session and acknowledged by the UN General Assembly at its 74th Session and a follow on to the Global Action Programme on ESD (2014-2019). ESD for 2030 places emphasis on education’s contribution to the achievement of the Agenda 2030 and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It aims to reorient education and learning to contribute to sustainable development and to strengthen education and learning for all.

What are the official languages at the Conference?

English, French, German, Spanish and Arabic are the official languages at the conference. Simultaneous interpretation in these languages will be available for all plenary sessions. All concurrent sessions will be available in English and French and some in Arabic, German and Spanish.

Where can I find the conference programme?

More details on the Conference programme will be made available on the Conference website.

What is the hashtag for the Conference?

Join the conversation using #ESDfor2030.


Participation / Registration

Who will take part?

Participants will include 2500 stakeholders from all regions of the world especially policy-makers working in education and other areas related to sustainable development; ESD practitioners, NGOs, experts and members of the development community and the private sector.

How can I take part?

The Conference is not a public meeting. Only those receiving a personalized invitation can participate.

a) I applied for the Call for Proposals in February 2020. How do I know if my proposal was selected or rejected?

Due to the postponement of the conference and the adaptation of the programme to an online format, the selection process has been delayed. All applicants who submitted a proposal will be informed about the result of their application in late February – early March 2021.

NOTE: The deadline for the Call for Proposals for booth and workshop concepts has already passed and unfortunately, no further proposals can be accepted.

b) I am a government representative of a UNESCO Member State. How can we send a delegation to the Conference?

Every UNESCO Member State will be invited to nominate a delegation of eight participants. An official invitation will be sent to all Member States’ delegations. UNESCO encourages Member States to select a diverse group of delegates, including policy-maker representatives, as well as representatives of civil society, research, youth, and other organizations.

If you have nominated a delegation in 2020, please note that you will have to re-submit the delegation for 2021. Further information and the link to the online portal will be shared in February 2021.

Member States will be invited to nominate eight participants and encouraged to include diverse stakeholders such as youth, civil society, academia and private sector from the active ESD community in their countries. Please consult your Ministry of Education for further information on your country’s delegation.

c) Can I participate remotely? Will the sessions of the Conference be livestreamed?

Some of the sessions, in particular the plenary sessions will be livestreamed. All information (times, session titles) on the Conference website will be added in due course. Please join the conversation online (twitter hashtag feed).


Practical information for attendance

Do I have to pay a fee to attend the Conference?

UNESCO does not charge a fee for attendees. However, participation to the Conference is by invitation only.



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