NEW YORK, 15th March 2023: The Secretary-General of the Organisation of Educational Cooperation (OEC) Manssour Bin Mussallam has concluded a two-day working visit to New York during which he addressed the 47th Annual Conference of the United Nations International School (UNIS-UN) and met with Permanent Representatives of OEC Member and Founding States accredited to the UN.
At the youth conference held in the UN General Assembly Hall on 14th March 2023 with the them “Turning the Page: A New Chapter in Education”, Secretary-General Bin Mussallam called on the participants to seize the moment of their youth by engaging themselves proactively in shaping the future.
Drawing from the Universal Declaration of Balanced and Inclusive Education as a framework to transform education, the Secretary-General spoke about the need for an approach to educational quality and inclusivity that is responsive to the cultural, ethical and social dimensions of the learning process, providing an ethical and practical framework for contextual, nationally-led transformation of education systems.
He further stated that it is necessary to go beyond the idea of inclusion as limited only to access of the marginalized to the school institutions, by also seeking to address the underlying systemic causes of exclusion, marginalization and imbalances in our societies.
“To turn a page and ensure that a new chapter in education is written, we must also ensure that we understand that education in itself is not enough, the question is not whether or not we need education, but what kind of education do we need. Because whilst education can be the sculpture of the future, it can also be an industrial factory, reproducing the same injustices that exist in society,” the Secretary-General said, further emphasizing that the world needs to act collectively to address the injustices that lie at the heart of the current education system.
Following his keynote address to the conference, the Secretary-General also met with Permanent Representatives of OEC Member and Founding States accredited to the United Nations, and discussed with them the latest development on the implementation of the common work Programme approved by the General Assembly in Geneva in 2021.