Multilateral Diplomacy and Global Citizenship.

Author:Choonghee, Hahn
Position:Global Citizenship issue


We are currently facing unprecedented challenges, including continued conflicts, increased violent extremism and obstacles to sustainable development such as extreme poverty, gender and economic inequal ity, refugees and internally displaced persons, and climate change. These challenges are global in their scope and interwoven in nature.

Therefore, there is a great need for a holistic and integrated approach comprising all three pillars of the United Nations, which are peace and security, development and human rights. We have to also address the very fundamental and core parts of the problem at hand; that is people's mindsets, attitudes, orientations and relationships vis-a-vis one another.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has emphasized peace and the prevention of conflict as one of the most important and urgent agenda items for the United Nations. An emerging concept of sustaining peace, as highlighted in the twin landmark resolutions (1) adopted both by the Security Council and the General Assembly in April 2016, underlined the importance of the prevention of conflict as well as addressing its root causes and paying increased attention to post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation.

In particular, preventing violent extremism has become an important priority of the United Nations. Violent extremism and radicalization are becoming a source of instability, conflict, violence, or even atrocities within and between countries. It is known that the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has reached out to and/or recruited around 40,000 people from more than 100 countries. Many of them are known to be highly educated. There is also an increased use of the Internet and social media by terrorists and their supporters to recruit and incite young people, as they are more susceptible and vulnerable to extremist messages and narratives. The world view and mindset of young people, as well as their sense of identity and belonging, are often weak and low. Now the orientation of education matters, and not just its quality.


Against this backdrop, there has been increased attention placed on Global Citizenship Education as a fundamental and long-term approach to tackling rising global challenges. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), present and future generations need education for global citizenship, which "aims to empower learners to engage and assume active roles, both locally and globally, to face and resolve global challenges and ultimately to become proactive contributors to a more just, peaceful, tolerant, inclusive, secure and sustainable world". (2)

The international community should discuss how global citizenship...

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