The first APCEIU International Conference on Global Citizenship Education (GCED): Platform for Pedagogy and Practice provided a forum for over 300 GCED practitioners to share their experiences and pedagogical approaches one year after the adoption of the Education 2030 Agenda, which includes GCED within one of its targets.

The Conference took place on 24-25 October 2016 in Seoul, Republic of Korea and was co-organized by the Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU), the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and JoongAng Ilbo, in partnership with UNESCO.

Participants from the private sector, academia, government, civil society organizations, GCED specialized institutes, youth and general public engaged in active discussions and exchanges on vitalizing GCED, sharing practices, pedagogies, ideas, and insights. The international conference contributed to reinforcing partnerships among key stakeholders, while formulating strong advocacy and awareness raising on GCED and advancing GCED at the local, national, regional and global levels.

What does it mean to be a global citizen?

In her opening remarks, Ms Soo Hyang Choi, Director of UNESCO’s Division for Inclusion, Peace and Sustainable Development, emphasized the important role of Global Citizenship Education to foster in learners “a mindset to care for humanity and the planet to undertake responsible actions when and where necessary”.

The conference allowed participants to engage in policy dialogue, sharing their visions of GCED in favourable policy environments, and discussing what kind of competencies, skills, or attitudes are required for global citizens to contribute to building sustainable and peaceful societies.

“Educators around the world must take on the challenge of empowering youth to become responsible citizens of a peaceful and sustainable global community,” said Mr Utak Chung, APCEIU’s Director.

Vibrant exchanges to gain practical knowledge on how to teach and assess GCED were driven by interactive discussions, innovative sessions, participatory dialogues, innovative teaching-learning activities, and a demonstration of mini-lessons.

The GCED Talks: Learning to Live Together allowed GCED advocates to share personal stories about how education had transformed their lives making them active and responsible global citizens.

Thematic approaches were discussed as methods of delivery to nurture global citizenship, such as Building a Culture of Peace, Respect for Cultural Diversity, the Prevention of Violent Extremism through education and Human Rights Education.

This conference aims to become a yearly platform for GCED actors to share actions and practices and discuss ways in which GCED can help resolve many critical global issues.