New UNESCO Chairs take on child and adolescent health and education

29 October 2018

As part of UNESCO’s mission to ensure better health and well-being for all children and young people, two UNESCO Chairs in Global Health and Education were officially appointed at a ceremony at UNESCO headquarters, Paris.

The new UNESCO Chairs, Clermont-Auvergne University in France and Osaka University in Japan, will support UNESCO to improve health and education outcomes for all children and adolescents. They will contribute to international research initiatives, capacity building and support for policymakers and practitioners globally, aligned to UNESCO’s Strategy on Education for Health and Wellbeing.

Speaking at the ceremony, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education, Stefania Giannini said: “Education and health are fundamental to the development of children and adolescents, and are also critical to the building of sustainable societies. In fact, two Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, as defined by the international community, are entirely devoted to them: Goal 3 for Health, and Goal 4 for Education.”

“It is for this reason that I am honoured to inaugurate these two Chairs tonight. On behalf of UNESCO, I look forward to working with them as we put in place the best health and education policies and programmes for children and young people.”  

A network of universities will support the chairs, including the Chinese University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong), St Joseph University (Lebanon), Oran 1 Ahmed Ben Bella University (Algeria), Nazarbayev University (Kazakhstan), Tunis El Manar University (Tunisia), Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar University (Senegal), Yaoundé University (Cameroun) and Félix Houphouet-Boigny University (Ivory Coast).

Supporting the work of the UNESCO Chairs, a new World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Research in Education and Health will also commence activities, acting as a resource for knowledge production and capacity building for policy and practice, to improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people worldwide.

Organized by the National Commissions for UNESCO from France and Japan, the ceremony to appoint the new Chairs attracted more than 200 participants from 40 countries, in support of building research and knowledge dissemination around education and health.