The International Conference of NGOs at UNESCO gathered this year under the theme “Breaking Barriers – What role for civil society organizations towards a sustainable future”. The event consisted mainly of brainstorming the work program of the NGO liaison committee of UNESCO for 2023-2024 and of thematic sessions.
A concern that found broad expression during the brainstorming was the neglect of NGO participation in UNESCO. Often NGOs get very short notice before the deadline for contributions or events which makes it almost impossible for them to engage. Moreover, one thematic session was particularly interesting for OIDEL: “The evolving role and future of civil society organizations (CSOs) and partnerships in the global movement for the transformation of education in a fast-changing and challenging world”. Vernor Muñoz, former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education, put forward the importance of a holistic approach to education. Giovanna Modé, Policy Coordinator at the Latin American Campaign for the Right to Education (CLADE), recalled the connection of the right to education with other human rights. Furthermore, the conference voted for a new chairperson and a new committee for the next mandate (2023-2024).
Josyane Zingg, who participated on behalf of OIDEL, congratulated the newly elected chair of the NGO Liaison Committee, Nick Newland, and expressed our desire to work with him, the committee and our fellow NGO colleagues towards a sustainable future.