UN Member States discuss the new Global Alliance for Literacy
Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) representatives from the UN Member States discussed ways to advance social development, which included questions relating to the world social situation, youth, ageing, and the efforts to achieve literacy worldwide.
As part of the discussions, Mr Venkata Subbarao Ilapavuluri, Chief Programme Coordinator at the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL), presented the report on ‘Literacy for Life: Shaping Future Agendas’ pursuant to General Assembly resolution 69/141. He highlighted that the ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development proposes ‘a world with universal literacy’ and sees ‘literacy [as] a development accelerator contributing to the realization of an equitable, inclusive and sustainable world.’ He further stressed that ‘while literacy is a driver for sustainable development, advancement in other areas of sustainable development creates a conducive environment for people to acquire, use and advance their literacy skills.’ The report called upon Member States to increase innovative literacy programmes for children, youth and adults, paying particular attention to disadvantaged and marginalized groups, including girls, women, indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities and children, youth and adults in humanitarian emergencies.
Additionally, the report’s specific recommendations for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were outlined and consequently discussed with a special focus on the need for an intersectoral, synergistic, collective action through the Global Alliance for Literacy (GAL). This partnership would advance literacy within the framework of lifelong learning and as an effective platform for achieving tangible outcomes at global, regional, national and community levels. It would also create synergies of action between GAL and other initiatives, including the Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education and UNESCO’s Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC).
Representatives of Member States engaged in dialogue with the Chief Programme Coordinator and used the opportunity to stress their firm commitment to the realization of SDG 4 as a human right and a public good, while emphasizing the need for the provision of quality education and for achieving gender equality throughout the education system.
Initial discussions on the draft General Assembly Resolution on literacy started with the participation of UNESCO’s representatives. The resolution that is introduced by Mongolia and 80 sponsoring Member States will be finalized and adopted by the Third Committee of the General Assembly of the United Nations at its 71st session.