ESU at UNESCO’s Meeting of NGO’s working towards Education 2030
ESU’s Executive Committee Member Beth Button attended UNESCO’s Collective Consultation Meeting of NGO’s working towards Education 2030. The meeting took place between 8-9 May in Siem Reap, Cambodia. This group meets every 2-3 years, bringing together civil society organisations who are working to further progress on the Sustainable Development Goals relating to education, and is a key UNESCO mechanism for strengthened dialogue, common reflection and revitalized partnerships. Participants discussed initiatives undertaken, key challenges encountered, opportunities identified and ways forward. They debated the role of civil society organizations in supporting the implementation of SDG4-Education 2030 at national, regional and global levels, and the contributions of the CCNGO in this regard.
During the working group on inclusion, equity and gender equality (Target 4.5 and crosscutting), Beth highlighted the recent statement on LGBT+ rights and ESU’s commitment to supporting marginalised groups, including women’s representation, as well as ESU’s ongoing work on the social dimension within higher education.
Beth also acted as the rapporteur for the working group on partnerships and collaboration. This group was tasked with looking at opportunities for increased partnerships within civil society, and in identifying ways in which civil societies can work together to strengthen advocacy and accountability with national governments and regional bodies on the SDG’s.
Over the course of the meeting, the group worked towards developing an outcome document, which will be used to capture the issues and priorities of civil society within the Education 2030 agenda. The recommendations formulated by the CCNGO/ED 2030 within the document will be voiced during the sessions of the UNESCO governing bodies (General Conference and Executive Board).
Beth lobbied for the specific inclusion of the below text, which highlighted students as a stakeholder group to be included in the outcome document, with a commitment to taking steps to ensure their views are heard within the Education 2030 agenda :
“We commit to using existing networks and platforms, and creating new ones where necessary, to elevate the voices and views of children, students and learners; empowering them to take ownership of the agenda and their future.’
The meeting provided ESU with an opportunity to connect with the other members of the UN’s Education and academia stakeholder group, of which we are one of four organising partners. The group acts as a platform for bringing together human rights-based education and academia organisations and networks to engage with the monitoring and review of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Full outcome document from the CCNGO meeting.