Building peace in the minds of men and women

You(th) Speak on Education at the United Nations on 8 April 2019

26 March 2019

About 263 million children, adolescents and youth worldwide - one in every five - are out of school: 64 million of primary aged children, 61 million of lower secondary school age and 138 million of upper secondary age. This violates a fundamental human right and stalls progress towards all the Sustainbale Development Goals. Youth from disadvantaged backgrounds and/or low-income countries are far less likely to complete secondary education or gain skills for work through technical and vocational education and training, further deepening inequalities and exclusion. Youth account for the majority of the forcibly displaced, at a record level since WW2, with many seeing their educational opportunities cut short.


The digital revolution, combined with the interdependent and global nature of issues, from climate change to rising intolerance and violent extremism are increasing pressure on education systems to transform, and to give students the knowledge, competences and values they need to navigate a world of increasing complexity with open mindsets and a sense of shared responsibility.


In this framework, the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) is of utmost importance, as inclusive access to quality education and life-long learning opportunities have reciprocal linkages with almost all other SDGs and will play a key role in building peaceful, sustainable and resilient societies.


In this regard, the ECOSOC Youth Forum’s breakout session on the SDG 4, organized by UNESCO, together with the United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth (UN MGCY), SDG-Education 2030 Steering Committee, OHCHR, UNFPA, UNHCR and UNICEF, will highlight the key role of education within the 2030 Agenda. The discussion will bring together young people from across the world as dynamic, resourceful, and powerful agents of change in their communities. Education is an investment in the future of both young people and society as a whole.  "You(th) Speak on Education" will aim to reflect a youth perspective on SDG4 and its targets.