The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution on 10 December 2015 recognizing Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) as “a vital means of implementation for sustainable development”.
In the resolution entitled “United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014)”, the Member States of the United Nations reaffirm UNESCO’s role as lead agency for the implementation of the Global Action Programme on ESD (GAP), the follow-up of the Decade, as well as for providing support to Member States and assessing progress towards the achievement of ESD. Governments are encouraged to scale up ESD through implementation of the GAP and to increase efforts to institutionalize ESD.
Within the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the resolution highlights the importance of education for achieving sustainable development in its three dimensions: empower learners to take informed decisions and responsible actions for environmental integrity, economic viability and a just society.
UN Member States also note the key findings, challenges, and recommendations outlined in the review by UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova of the implementation of the Decade of ESD. The resolution strengthens UNESCO’s voice and legitimacy to continue promoting ESD worldwide and provide technical assistance to Member States.
The resolution had been introduced by the Group of 77 and China with a significant number of co-sponsors. The next report on the implementation of the resolution will be submitted by the UN Secretary-General to the General Assembly at its 72nd session in September 2017 under the agenda item “education for sustainable development”.