Lily Gray says very little about ESD

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

If you think your life is tough, spare a thought for the benighted members of the Second committee of the UN General Assembly (Economic and Financial Committee) who recently had to endure a tedious presentation about ESD.  You can read all about it here – but, really, why would you bother?  Here's an extract to save you a lot of pain:

"... representatives of member states and the UN system discussed ways towards the achievement of sustainable development, including the implementation of the international commitments on climate change and agreements on financing for development, as well as efforts for advancing the education for sustainable development worldwide.  As part of the discussions, Ms Lily Gray, Liaison Officer at UNESCO New York presented the Report on the implementation of Education for Sustainable Development as mandated in the General Assembly resolution 70/209. ..."

Ms Gray's presentation is notable for its reliance on jargon; for example:

  • sustainable development as a way of life
  • engaging youth meaningfully
  • supporting education for values and empowerment
  • applying technological advancements in education
  • broadening thematic focus and scope of partners
  • a better and more sustainable future for present and future generations
  • ESD as an integral element of quality education

... and my particular favourites:

  • strong inclusive multi-stakeholder partnerships and strategic alliances
  • global multi-stakeholder consultation and coordination
  • inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities

This is how the GA committee discussion is summarised:

"... representatives of member states stressed the importance of education for the implementation of the Agenda 2030, while highlighting the role of partnerships and cooperation mechanisms at all levels. They called for the international community to provide inclusive and equitable quality education at all levels as this “will help learners to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to exploit opportunities to participate fully in society and contribute to sustainable development”.

Note here that the focus is on quality education with no mention of ESD.

However, all you ESD groupies and junkies out there, don't despair as the Chinese will be introducing a new General Assembly resolution on ESD later this year, and it will be full of the Thoughts of Chairman Xi – Huzzah!

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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