Strengthening Partnerships: UNESCO

June 7, 2010

Years of hard work creating positive change continues to advance the organization as JCI partners officially with another UN agency.

JCI has been admitted to official relations with UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization. With this new status, JCI is now a member of UNESCO’s Collective Consultation of NGOs on Education for All (CCNGO/EFA), and is building stronger relationships across United Nations agencies.

2009 JCI President Jun Sup Shin and JCI Secretary General Edson Kodama met in February 2009 with the UN Director-General Koichiro Matsuura to discuss potential areas of collaboration between JCI and UNESCO. The meeting produced a Memorandum of Understanding between the two organizations to develop capacity-building training courses for UNESCO to empower 15- to 20-year-olds who lack development opportunities.

JCI Trainers will build their skills by conducting such courses at international, regional and local JCI events, and the UNESCO Youth Regional Forums. The courses will focus on topics such as youth entrepreneurship, young leaders, organizational skills, team building, active citizenship, people skills, including presentation and speaking skills, and decision-making.

Longstanding Relationship

JCI has maintained “operational relations” with UNESCO since 1996, and the transition from a Memorandum of Understanding to an official member of CCNGO/EFA is a great step forward for JCI in developing important international partnerships. JCI is now in an even better position to develop effective training programs in the fields of youth leadership, tolerance and entrepreneurship, as well as other core areas of focus with the assistance of UNESCO resources.

The CCNGO/EFA is a network of more than 250 international, regional and national education NGOs, and is the main mechanism for reflection, dialogue and joint action between NGOs and UNESCO in the area of Education for All. The top priority of the CCNGO/EFA is the achievement of six goals adopted by 164 governments and other participants in 2000 at the World Education Forum in Dakar, Senegal.

The Dakar Forum set a number of quantitative and qualitative targets to be reached by 2015 to provide quality basic education for all children, youth and adults. The international community also emphasized the importance of organizations like JCI to the achievement of Education for All and committed to “ensure the engagement and participation of civil society in the formulation, implementation and monitoring of strategies for educational development.”

The decision to admit JCI to CCNGO/EFA status was made by the UNESCO Executive Board during its 184th session, and Mr. Qiang Tang, Assistant Director-General for the Education Sector at UNESCO, emphasized his enthusiasm towards the opportunity to work more closely with JCI in the future.

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