Building peace in the minds of men and women

UNODC and UNESCO join up to promote the rule of law through education

26 February 2018

UNESCO and UNODC have announced the launch of a new partnership to provide Global Citizenship Education in response to some of the world’s most pressing challenges to peace, justice and the rule of law.

The ‘Initiative on Global Citizenship Education: Educating for a Culture of Lawfulness’ is developed jointly by UNESCO and UNODC to equip education policy-makers, primary and secondary level teachers and educators with tools to empower learners to engage in society as constructive and ethically responsible agents of change, supporting justice and strong institutions.

Welcoming the initiative, Qian Tang, Assistant Director General for Education, said: “Global Citizenship Education offers a powerful approach to address contemporary challenges to the rule of law. By strengthening learners’ ability to think, act responsibly and share, we can build the defences of peace in the minds of men and women… Through this new partnership with UNODC we look forward to developing the tools that teachers and educators need to help learners act and engage in society as constructive and ethically responsible agents of change, supporting peace, justice and strong institutions.”

The initiative will be rolled out over the next two years and pools existing expertise from the two organizations. It is being implemented in the framework of UNESCO’s activities relating to Global Citizenship Education and is designed to support UNODC’s Education for Justice (E4J) initiative.

The Education for Justice initiative is part of the Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration, adopted following the 13th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in 2015. Funded by the State of Qatar, the initiative seeks to prevent crime, corruption and promote a culture of lawfulness through education activities designed for primary, secondary and tertiary levels.

UNESCO’s work in support of Global Citizenship Education and the prevention of violent extremism through education  seeks to strengthen the capacities of national education systems to appropriately and effectively contribute to national prevention efforts. This work supports the implementation of UNESCO Executive Board Decision 197 EX/Decision 46: “UNESCO’s role in promoting education as a tool to prevent violent extremism” and the UN Secretary-General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism.

The work is set in the broader context of the two agencies’ contribution towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular, Sustainable Development Goals 4 and 16, which call for quality education and the building of peace, justice and strong institutions. These efforts are also expected to build young people’s resilience to violent extremist messaging and foster a positive sense of identity and belonging.