Gyeongju, Republic of Korea (ESCAP News) – Representatives of NGOs and academia finalized and adopted a global education action agenda at the 66th United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI) / Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Conference that concluded today in Gyeongju, Republic of Korea.
The Gyeongju Action Plan provides concrete guidance for NGOs around the world to enhance their ability to lobby governments for commitment to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and to mobilize NGOs in communities on the ground.
“This conference has demonstrated another example of the value for the United Nations in investing in partnership with academia and NGOs,” said Ms. Cristina Gallach, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information.
“The United Nations is committed to continue to support and partner with NGOs and academia in our joint efforts to advocate for and successfully implement the 2030 Agenda,” Ms. Gallach added. “Youth have also come in great numbers, demonstrating the value that they see in partnering with the United Nations.”
The Gyeongju Action Plan includes a series of concrete measures as a reference for NGOs around the world to jump start implementation of the 2030 Agenda, at the grass roots level.
Dr. Scott Carlin, Co-Chair of the conference and Associate Professor of Geography at Long Island University said: “NGOs from around the world brought passion and expertise to lively final consultations on the outcome document. We are grateful for all of the inputs received and very proud of the Gyeongju Action Plan.”
Dr. YuKang Choi, Co-Chair of the conference and NGO Representative to the United Nations for Dream Touch for All, said: “We hope that Gyeongju was an inspirational setting for finalizing a truly unifying action plan that will be useful for NGOs, wherever they are working.”
For the first time in the history of the DPI/NGO Conference, youth also developed and issued a Youth Declaration.
“Unfortunately youth are still not involved enough in policy making processes around the world,” said Ms. Saphira Rameshfar, Representative of the Ba’hai Community to the United Nations and youth leader at the conference.
“The Youth Declaration is a necessary reminder that young people are needed as leaders and decision-makers not only in youth forums and special-purpose councils, but in those spaces where the course and direction of society as a whole are determined,” added Ms. Rameshfar.
The Gyeongju Action Plan was drafted through a global multi-stakeholder consultation process, leading up to, and during the conference. It was adopted at the final plenary session of the conference, and will be shared widely with civil society as well as the United Nations Secretary-General, the United Nations System, Member States and learning communities.