Back Matjaž Gruden Highlights Key Initiatives Ahead of 2024 Global Education Meeting

Matjaž Gruden Highlights Key Initiatives Ahead of 2024 Global Education Meeting

In a compelling intervention at the High-Level Steering Committee (HLSC) of SDG 4 held at UNESCO headquarters today, Matjaž Gruden, Director for Democracy at the Council of Europe,  underscored the organization's commitment to transformative education initiatives ahead of the 2024 Global Education Meeting (GEM) in Fortaleza, Brazil.

Matjaz Gruden emphasized the importance of the upcoming GEM and announced the organisation of a Regional Consultation for Europe, in close cooperation with the EU Commission and UNESCO Paris. This initiative aims to ensure that Europe's collective voices and priorities are reflected in the discussions and outcomes of the 2024 GEM. "Our focus will be on strengthening multilateral, cross-sectoral, and multi-stakeholder engagement to transform education, with particular attention to the role of young people, students, and learners," he stated.

Highlighting the Council of Europe's Learners First 2030 program, Matjaz Gruden spoke about the launch of a new European Citizenship Space, designed to foster democratic culture, value diversity, promote fundamental values, and harness digital transformation. A key initiative within this framework is the European Year of Digital Citizenship Education in 2025, aimed at preparing learners for the digital age by promoting digital literacy and responsible digital citizenship.

Matjaz Gruden also addressed the Council's proactive approach to education in times of emergencies and crises. He introduced the Council of Europe's Resilience Toolbox for Education, an initiative that underscores the importance of resilience in maintaining access to quality education for all learners, regardless of circumstances. "Our commitment to education remains unwavering, even in times of emergencies and crises," he affirmed.

The HLSC event “Accelerating Progress Towards SDG4: Stocktake of transformative Actions in Education, provided an important platform for countries and regional organisations to align educational policies and programs with global targets. Matjaz Gruden highlighted that the themes—such as equity, inclusion, gender equality, education in emergencies, sustainable development, and education for peace—are central to the Council's regional focus.

As the 2024 GEM approaches, the Council of Europe aims to leverage this opportunity to reinforce its core values of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law through the promotion of collaborative and innovative educational practices. Matjaz Gruden called on all Member States in the region to actively engage in the consultation process to ensure that their contributions shape a strategic, forward-looking vision of education.

The 2024 GEM is set to be a significant milestone in global education, providing a platform for stakeholders to review progress, share best practices, and address the challenges in achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) on quality education. The outcomes of this meeting will feed into the broader discussions on social development at the World Social Summit, emphasizing the interconnectedness of education with other social goals.

The Council of Europe remains steadfast in its support and contribution to the global educational agenda, committed to ensuring that no learner is left behind as we strive to achieve SDG 4 by 2030.

Paris 17 June 2024
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