Global citizenship education

While the world may be increasingly interconnected, human rights violations, inequality and poverty still threaten peace and sustainability.

Global Citizenship Education (GCED) is UNESCO’s response to these challenges. It works by empowering learners of all ages to understand that these are global, not local issues and to become active promoters of more peaceful, tolerant, inclusive, secure and sustainable societies.

GCED is a strategic area of UNESCO’s Education Sector programme and builds on the work of Peace and Human Rights Education. It aims to instil in learners the values, attitudes and behaviours that support responsible global citizenship: creativity, innovation, and commitment to peace, human rights and sustainable development.

UNESCO’s work in this area is grounded in its own Constitution which aims to ‘build peace in the minds of men and women,’ the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Education 2030 Agenda and Framework for Action, notably Target 4.7 of the Sustainable Development Agenda, the Recommendation concerning Education for International Understanding, Co-operation and Peace and Education relating to Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1974), and the World Programme for Human Rights Education (2005-ongoing).

Under the GCED umbrella, UNESCO has several special themes: Preventing violent extremism through education, Education about the Holocaust and genocide, Languages in education, and will soon add Education for a culture of lawfulness.

UNESCO collaborates with an extensive global network to disseminate GCED including its own Category 1 institutes, other UN agencies and inter-governmental organizations, including regional organizations, most notably: The UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP), The International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA), The UNESCO Institute for Statistic (UIS), The Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding (APCIEU), the UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network (ASPNet) and UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs.UNESCO Institute for Statistic (UIS), The Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding (APCIEU), the UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network (ASPNet) and the network of UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs.