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Education to Global Citizenship



Italy is strongly committed to support UNESCO in promoting Global Citizenship Education, (GCED) which is a wide-ranging concept aiming at raising the awareness of today’s citizens to the challenges of our times. GCED has several educational focuses: sustainable development, peace and human rights, conflicts prevention and intercultural education.

It represents a strategic priority of UNESCO’s Education Programme for 2014-2017 and one of the three main axes of UN Secretary-General initiative Global Education First Initiative (GEFI) which was launched in September 2012. Its main focus is to push for new education methods to help eradicate poverty, protect the environment and foster economic growth.  



Education and Human Rights


Together with Costa Rica, the Philippines, Morocco, Senegal, Slovenia and Switzerland, Italy is part of the Platform for Human Rights Education, which over the past few years sponsored several initiatives aimed at preventing all forms of violence and radicalism through education, among others.

In the same spirit, upon Italian initiative, a large part of the Strategy for the reinforcement of the Organization’s actions for the protection of culture and the promotion of cultural pluralism in the event of armed conflict (see above), is dedicated to the tools that are necessary to help strengthen cultural heritage education and intercultural dialogue.

Italy is also strongly committed in promoting education for migrants, thanks to a wide range of initiatives that are coordinated by the Italian Civil Protection.



Environmental Education


Environmental Education is another key area of all education processes. In the month of February 2017, the Ocean Literacy Italia network (OLI) was established by the UNESCO Centre in Venice. OLI will coordinate the work of all the institutions that work in the field of ocean science education on the Italian territory, in order to foster sustainable growth through an interdisciplinary approach and global awareness.

OLI’s first big-scale event, the World Oceans Day, took place on June 8; numerous initiatives – workshops, conferences, education activities – were planned through the Italian territory on the theme “Our Oceans, Our Future”.

Learning material for several school grades is currently under way on crucial issues such as marine pollution and climate change effects.




Education and Preventing Violent Extremism



In the month of October 2015, UNESCO’s Executive Board adopted an important Decision on the fight against violent extremism (197/46). The Organization follows up on this Decision in all its sectors of competence: education and training, namely towards young generations; communication, internet and social media; gender equality and women empowerment. In the framework of its GCED activities (see above), UNESCO helps Member States improve their learning programmes and strengthen their school systems.

Italy is part of the UNESCO Group of Friends for the Prevention of Violent Extremism, which was created by the USA and counts 34 members. Upon Italian initiative, the Action Plan of the Strategy for the reinforcement of the Organization’s actions for the protection of culture and the promotion of cultural pluralism in the event of armed conflict (see above) also foresees education activities to prevent violent extremism.



UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme


Numerous Italian universities take part in the UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme which was founded in 1992 with the purpose of promoting inter-academic cooperation and knowledge-sharing in UNESCO’s fields of competence: culture, education, social and natural sciences, information and communication.

Here is the full list of Italian UNESCO Chairs and  UNITWIN networks.