The Second UNESCO Global Forum on Global Citizenship Education (GCED) was held in Paris on January 28-30, 2015. The Open Working Group on the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has set GCED, now a priority topic, as an associated target of the main education goal due to its potential role in creating peace and sustainability throughout the world.
Representatives from OECD, Plan International, UNESCO, amongst others, presented on their experiences teaching and measuring the impacts of topics related to GCED, including human rights, environmental sustainability, civic activism and peace education. Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) participated as a discussant in the session Taking the Agenda Forward - pushing for a greater emphasis on the economic dimension of GCED and the inclusion of financial literacy and entrepreneurship education in the GCED learning framework.
Youth Call for Permanent Youth Participation and Economic Component
GCED should provide both information and practical tools for engaging in sustainable economic activities, promoting decent work while fostering entrepreneurship.Youth delegate in their closing address to the GCED Forum
CYFI supports the statement given by the youth delegates at the close of the GCED Forum, calling for a more permanent role for youth participation in the development of the Post-2015 Framework for Action in GCED. We also fully support their call for GCED to “provide both information and practical tools for engaging in sustainable economic activities, promoting decent work while fostering entrepreneurship.”
The Missing GCED Component: Economic Citizenship Education
CYFI welcome’s UNESCO’s call for equipping youth with values, attitudes and skills that are necessary for forging a more peaceful, inclusive and sustainable world. CYFI believes education has a transformative power and can enable youth to take up on their role of responsible global citizens. However, CYFI strongly backs the following points:
- While CYFI recognizes the importance of jointly addressing contemporary global challenges, CYFI feels that the economic dimension of global citizenship is not being addressed sufficiently by the current draft of the GCED framework. Global issues related to youth unemployment, indebtedness and financial dependence should be explicitly mentioned by the GCED material. CYFI believes that leaving out these important challenges, and failing to recognize the impact they have on the situation of youth wellbeing, will be a disservice to the mission and purpose of GCED.
- CYFI encourages UNESCO to recognize the importance of economic empowerment and financial responsibility of youth. CYFI promotes Economic Citizenship Education (ECE) as an effective tool to tackle these challenges and believes that providing young people with the skills needed to sustain a livelihood for themselves and their families represents a key peace and community building aspect of our work.
- To these ends, CYFI calls for the introduction of learning outcomes in the area of livelihoods education, social entrepreneurship and ethically responsible financial and economic behavior.