UNESCO Member States adopt recommendations of Education Commission

14 November 2017

UNESCO Member States adopted the recommendations presented by the Education Commission at the 39th General Conference, which concluded today - 14 November 2017.

Among the key items approved were UNESCO’s role in the implementation of SDG4-Education 2030, the Draft Programme and Budget for 2018-2021 and “Academic Mobility Convention”.  

Implementation of SDG4-Education 2030

Member States endorsed UNESCO’s role in the implementation of SDG4-Education 2030. This includes leading and coordinating the Education 2030 and acting as the focal point for education within the overall 2030 Agenda.

UNESCO has been entrusted with the challenging task of leading and coordinating SDG 4-Education 2030 by: undertaking advocacy to sustain political commitment; facilitating policy dialogue, knowledge sharing and standard setting; monitoring progress towards the education targets; convening global, regional and national stakeholders to guide the implementation of the agenda; and functioning as a focal point for education within the overall SDG coordination architecture.

The General Conference also emphasizing the importance of human rights education and training, particularly in relation to target 4.7, for the fulfilment of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. 

The Draft Programme and Budget for 2018-2021

The Draft Programme and Budget for 2018-2021 was approved at the Plenary, ensuring that UNESCO fully aligns its programme and resources to meet the ambitious Sustainable Development Goal 4 and other education-related targets. This will be driven by two-pronged approach, structured around two Main Lines of Action:

  1. Supporting the implementation of SDG 4-Education 2030 at country level, through eight Expected Results; and
  2. Leading the coordination and review/monitoring of SDG 4-Education 2030 at global and regional levels, through two Expected Results.  

In operationalizing Main Lines of Action 1 and its eight Expected Results, UNESCO, including its education-related Institutes, will seek to support Member States in making progress towards the seven targets and two means of implementation of SDG 4 and five other SDGs. Actions under these Expected Results will be contextualized to be responsive and attentive to distinct regional needs and local realities.

UNESCO will coordinate and review/monitor SDG 4-Education 2030 at global and regional levels. Under Main Lines of Action 2, work will focus on two areas.

First, it will facilitate global and regional coordination within the context of the evolving global governance structure of education, build and strengthen partnerships with UN agencies, international organizations and civil society, conduct high-level advocacy for Education 2030 and report on SDG 4 as part of UN SDG reporting.

Second, it will ensure a global Education 2030 observatory function through research and foresight to guide global policy and inform dialogue on the future of education, as well as a review and monitoring function for the implementation of SDG 4-Education 2030. This will contribute to the overall attainment of SDG 4 and SDG 17.

“Academic Mobility Convention”

Member States approved the continuation of the preparation of UNESCO’s Academic Mobility Convention (Global Convention on the Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications) and its possible adoption at the next session, in November 2019. This future Convention aims to provide a global framework of universal principles and rules for the recognition of higher education titles, diplomas and certificates. The General Conference reaffirmed that a global convention will improve academic mobility, enhance international cooperation in higher education, and will represent a significant step forward towards global academic mobility and trust in higher education systems. 

The future Convention will be a major step forward for the rights of students to have their higher education qualifications assessed in a fair, transparent and non-discriminatory manner by national competent authorities. It will also strengthen cooperation in higher education and enhance trust in higher education systems in view of ensuring quality in education, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.