New York: On 3 November, the United Nations General Assembly adopted with consensus its resolution “Literacy for life: shaping future agendas” A/C3/71/L9/Rev1 .
The resolution introduced by Mongolia in an effort to continue the legacy of the United Nations Literacy Decade was co-sponsored by 101 Member States. It highlighted the need to eradicate illiteracy and promote education for all worldwide while implementing the global aspiration to have all youth and a substantial proportion of adults achieved literacy and numeracy by 2030.
In introducing the resolution the representative of Mongolia outlined that through it “we encouraged efforts to provide quality education in safe learning environments for all” and “underscored UNESCO’s catalytic and coordinating role in supporting member states’ effort to create a m ore literate world’.
The adoption of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda created a new framework for inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all. In this context, the resolution “Literacy for Life: shaping future agendas” expressed deep concern over the 758 million adults, lacking basic literacy skills, and that among the world’s 650 million primary-school-age children, at least 250 million children were not acquiring basic skills in reading and mathematics. The continuous gender gap in education was stressed and the importance of national programmes and measures to eliminate illiteracy worldwide.
Delegates agreed that governments should scale-up literacy programmes for children, youth and adults with particular attention given to those who are most vulnerable and marginalized. The adoption of an intersectoral approach, including through relevant and inclusive education resources in different languages, the establishment of multi-stakeholder partnerships with the active participation of civil society and the private sector, and the best use of distance and digital learning resource were mentioned as good practices.
Furthermore, the General Assembly recognized that to improve quality education, substantial investments are needed and referred to the recommendations of the International Commission on the Financing of Global Education Opportunities’ aimed at effective deployment of available resources and smart use of strategic partnerships.
International community requested UNESCO to continue its coordinating and catalyzing role in the areas of education and promotion of literacy including through the implementation of the Global Alliance for Literacy (GAL) recommendations and creating synergies of action between the GAL and other initiatives, as the Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education and UNESCO’s Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC).
UN Secretary-General, in cooperation with the Director General of UNESCO, will submit a report on the implementation of the present resolution to the General Assembly at its 73rd session.