9 May 2018

2018 United Nations Global Citizenship Education Seminar

With the collaboration of the Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU), the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) co-organized the 2018 United Nations Global Citizenship Education Seminar that recently took place at  United Nations Headquarters in New York. This article features highlights of the event as reported by Andrey Makiyevskiy, an undergraduate student at New York University.

10 May 2018 – Global Citizenship Education plays a key role within the Sustainable Development Goals for developing inclusive and peaceful global societies. Global Citizenship Education seminars are vital to devising new ideas and developing ongoing ones to propel us towards our ambitious goal. The 2018 United Nations Global Citizenship Education Seminar, hosted on 26 April 2018 at United Nations Headquarters in New York by United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) in collaboration with the Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU), focused on the possible solutions and pathways that we can take to work in line with the United Nations activities and to promote justice.

The opening panel of speakers with expertise on global citizenship included Ambassador Cho Tae-Yul, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations, Ramu Damodaran, Chief of UNAI, Chung Utak, Director of APCEIU, and Marie Paule Roudil, Director of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Liaison Office in New York. Each one of them provided key ideas on how we can promote global citizenship in schools as well as strategies that many of the participants took away from the seminar. The keynote speaker of the seminar was Hyo-Je Cho (Sungkonghoe University), who talked about Global Citizenship Education and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Professors from many universities including Aaron Benavot (State University of New York-Albany), Choi Dong Ju (Sookmyung Women’s University), Natalie Hudson (University of Dayton), Carol Anne Spreen (New York University) and Rita Verma (Adelphi University) along with Christian Courtis, Human Rights Officer in the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, presented compelling studies and research to showcase the increasing need for global citizenship education. Their thorough research empowered participants of the seminar to create more refined goals and to stimulate further dialogue.

It was a privilege to be able to attend this event and to have the chance to share my opinion and insights on this important matter. As a student, I consider myself to be a global citizen, and I believe that it is my duty to ensure that others are able to become part of this global society and to assist in developing it further. The seminar enabled us to hear about some vital findings from research and studies conducted at institutions across the globe. 

In the words of Mikey Lampel, another New York University student, "the conference was an amazing convergence of viewpoints about how to best achieve global citizenship education for all students by 2030 and to continue improving education thereafter on a global scale.” The Head of the Office of External Relations of APCEIU, Lee Yangsook, closed the seminar by encouraging participants to share their takeaways and called on us to act and ensure that our great ideas could shape the future of global citizenship education. This seminar enabled me to reflect about the ways in which I, and students worldwide, can act to create a bigger and more inclusive global citizenship community. Global citizenship education is absolutely central to creating, growing and developing societies that will help us to build a more inclusive future.