Welcome message by the Minister of Education, Sport and Youth, Mr Prodromos Prodromou, at the High-Level Meeting of the Ministers of Education on Education for Sustainable Development 06/10/2022
Distinguished guests, dear all,
Good morning. I want to welcome you in this High-Level special session for the Ministers of Education on ESD. This High-Level meeting has been organized by the UNECE Steering Committee on ESD, considering that it’s a great opportunity to discuss further the new framework of implementation of the UNECE Strategy on ESD2021-2030.
This High-Level Meeting of Education Ministers coincides with the wider international and regional initiatives on ESD. Additionally, it has a special meaning and importance since it will give the opportunity to Education Ministers to reflect on the new implementation framework of the UNECE Strategy for ESD up to 2030, to develop networks and multilateral collaborations, to discuss and share experiences on such key issues of ESD as the whole institution (or whole school) approach, monitoring and evaluation, innovation, the situation of youth and their active participation in decision making.
Youth has a special place in this new implementation framework, making it obvious that without the intergenerational dialogue, without mutual, cumulative knowledge building, or without collaborative actions, no progress seems achievable. Youth needs to be involved in discussions and action as they are the ones that face the effects of those challenges, and they will be the ones accountable for them to generations to come.
After the 3rd joint High-level meeting of Ministers of Education and Environment on ESD, yesterday, which concluded with the adoption of the new implementation framework of the UNECE Strategy for ESD 2030 and the UNECE Ministerial Statement on ESD, this first High-level Meeting of Education Ministers on ESD in the UNECE region creates a bridge to work together towards mobilizing the processes for ESD as the key driver for the future of education.
Today we, the Ministers of Education, high-level officials and other stakeholders from Europe, Asia, the Caucasus, and the Mediterranean, are here in Cyprus, a crossroad of three continents (Europe, Asia, Africa) for a common task: to transform the plans on ESD that will transform our PLAN-ET.
Today, in this High-Level meeting, countries, youth, organizations, academia and the rest of the stakeholders will have the opportunity to share several policy measures and good practices in the field of ESD, in the fields of integrating ESD in national curricula, teacher education and professional learning, whole-institutional digital pedagogy in ESD, on green entrepreneurship and innovative solutions – linking circular economy, bioeconomy and other initiatives to education. I am sure that at the end of this high level meeting, we will come to agree that the aims set by the new implementation framework are attainable and that countries are willing to collaborate to pave the way forward with a vision beyond 2030.
The agenda of the meeting today includes 2 keynote speeches:
- The first is about “Myths and Truths” by Dr Georgia Liarakou, Associate professor at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece.
- The second speech is about the role of educators in learning for sustainability and will be presented by Dr Wim Lambrechts, Associate Professor at the Open University of Belgium and the Netherlands.
After the speeches, the session is organized in the form of 3 interactive panel discussions and one plenary.
The first panel discussion is about Countries’ interventions on the implementation of the UNECE Strategy for ESD and will be moderated by Paul Pace, Professor at the University of Malta.
The second is the panel dedicated to international organizations and will be moderated by Mr Wondwosen Asnake Kibret, Policy and Partnership Coordinator at the Europe Office of UNEP.
The third panel will focus on needs, collaboration, and youth involvement in and across countries. The moderator of this panel is Mr Simon Herteleer, Coordinator of the UNECE ESD Youth Platform.
The final session is a plenary discussion about UNECE Steering Committee on Education for Sustainable Development as a mechanism of collaboration on ESD in and across countries. The chair of the UNECE Steering Committee on ESD, Dr Aravella Zachariou, will introduce the plenary session.
The meeting will close with the Reflections by Panel Coordinators on the main findings in sessions and chairs’ reflection on the accomplishment of the framework for the implementation of the UNECE Strategy for ESD from 2021 to 2030.
Dear colleagues, dear participants, dear friends, I now open the agenda by inviting Dr Georgia Liarakou, Associate Professor at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece, for her keynote address on myths and truths” on ESD.