Press Release

UNESCO Regional Office for the Gulf States and Yemen's Statement on the International Day of Education

24 January 2024

Today countries around the world commemorate the International Day of Education under the theme “Learning for lasting peace”. 

The world is at a unique historical juncture, grappling with increased uncertainty and complex issues that shift at an unprecedented speed. Our education systems are confronted with multiple challenges and are highly impacted by technology – related developments, ecological and sociological trends that require them to adapt and transform.

The world is seeing a surge in conflicts paralleled by a concerning rise of intolerance and discrimination. In particular, disinformation, misinformation, hate speech can take dangerous forms that not only cause harm at the personal level and incite group-targeted violence but are also an attack on inclusion, diversity and human rights.

Quality, equitable and lifelong education remains the most transformational power to redress injustice and entrenched inequalities, shape just, sustainable and peaceful societies and futures.

Education, in its various forms, has the power to transcend boundaries, challenge prejudices, bridge gaps between people and cultures, and ultimately, foster a sense of global citizenship, a sense of belonging to a common and diverse humanity, respecting the needs and the rights of each others, and our shared planet Earth, which we all bear responsibility for.

All of this is eloquently articulated in the UNESCO Recommendation on Education for Peace, Human Rights and Sustainable Development unanimously adopted by 194 Member States in November 2023, which underlines the importance of education being positioned at the center of our commitment to peace. The Recommendation focuses on how teaching and learning should transform to bring about lasting peace, a concept deeper than the absence of violence and conflict that includes dynamic, and long-term efforts to build the ability to value human dignity, our well-being and the good state of our shared planet. The Recommendation reaffirms human rights, gender inclusion in and through education, and sustainable development, despite threats and challenges.

In doing so, it promotes 14 guiding principles and priority action areas that can help empower learners with the necessary knowledge, competencies, and attitudes to become agents of peace in their immediate communities.

Maria Njeim

Communication and Information Consultant

UN entities involved in this initiative

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Goals we are supporting through this initiative