One of my original excuses for going to Japan was to try to attend the final event of the Decade on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). I wasn’t able to go in the end but I have been in touch with a couple of the youth delegates who went to learn what happened, and how momentum is being taken forwards.
The 50 delegates representing youth from around the world met up just before the World Conference in order to work on a Youth Statement to articulate the vision of youth on ESD topics.
The final document is here, described by one country representative as “a powerful, well organized, and inspiring statement that conveys a sense of hope and commitment for making a better world”:
And you can get a flavour of both of these events here in a video made by one of the youth delegates: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68ndl7c0W7s
Since that event, there has been an energy around the participation of youth, as actions related to Education for Sustainable Development are taken forwards. At an impromptu side event these youth representatives organised, many country representatives committed to involving young people with the follow-up commitments and actions at national level.
In the months that have followed, discussions are underway about setting up a youth ambassador programme and involving youth representatives in the various groups within UNESCO to take actions forwards. It’s hard to get down to tangible actions but what I take from it is that this involvement of young people at the event in November – and the continued commitment to involve them since – will lead to more ambitious, more relevant and more tangible action to ensure sustainable development is at the heart of education.