Ban urges teachers to foster global citizen who transcends borders

30 January 2009Teachers have a crucial role to play in fostering the global citizen of tomorrow who transcends national borders to tackle the problems of the world at large, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today. “I challenge each of you to do your part in raising awareness among your students and in your schools about the issues the world faces, and the need for international cooperation in addressing them,” he told the Conference of the Committee on Teaching about the United Nations in a message delivered by Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information Kiyo Akasaka.“The two crises of the moment – the global financial crisis and climate change – demonstrate powerfully the limits of boundaries and borders in thinking about problems that threaten all of us,” he said.He cited the World Programme of Action for Youth which recognizes the centrality of education for children and youth, and stresses the importance of promoting human rights education in particular. To support this goal, the UN Department of Public Information has created various materials on human rights on the UN Cyberschoolbus website. He noted that the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights saw the announcement of another major UN initiative addressed to teachers, scholars and students: the Academic Impact, which offers institutions the opportunity to undertake specific actions in support of, and in partnership with, the UN to realize the Declaration’s broad and enduring vision. “As educators, you model a concept of global citizenship,” Mr. Ban said. “Your role is crucial in communicating to global citizens-in-the-making what it means to live in an increasingly interdependent community where we are accountable not just to ourselves and our families, communities and countries, but also to people throughout the world.“You can help students grow into this notion of a global civic identity, and understand how their decisions have an impact ranging well beyond their immediate vicinity. The United Nations is uniquely placed to work with you in instilling a sense of global citizenship in today’s youth.”

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