“There is a clear relevance of AFS’ work to the current programs and activities of UNESCO, particularly in the fields of education, youth, and intercultural dialogue. Indeed, cooperation between UNESCO and AFS has a solid foundation based on many areas of common interest, synergies and previous collaborations, as witnessed by the organization at UNESCO Headquarters in November 2014, under UNESCO’s patronage, of the AFS Global Intercultural Education Symposium.” — Irina Bokova, Director General, UNESCO
Since this April, AFS world-wide network of organizations is in official partnership with UNESCO (consultative status). This important recognition is a validation of our work and an excellent opportunity to take many budding AFS initiatives to the next level by pursuing project-specific alliances with UNESCO, both internationally and at the national level.
The official partnership is a great privilege for us as providers of intercultural education opportunities globally. It is also a responsibility, inspiring us to continue to act responsibly as a committed member of the global citizenship education movement and contribute to other UNESCO initiatives relevant to our mission. Finally, this partnership is an opportunity to strengthen our positioning as an educational organization and to create more impact as we continue playing our role in educating global citizens through intercultural learning and volunteering.
This partnership deepens the existing collaboration between our two organizations. Last November, the AFS Global Intercultural Education Symposium – Learning to Live Together: From Ideas to Action was held in celebration of AFS’s Centennial and under the patronage of UNESCO in Paris. While UNESCO representatives attended the AFS-AAI-SIETAR Regional Conference in Bali, Indonesia this April, the Regional Education Forum: Intercultural Learning in Latin America: Fostering Global Citizenship through Intercultural Dialogue that will take place in Costa Rica in June has been granted UNESCO patronage. On the other hand, representatives of AFS have attended many relevant UNESCO events, most recently the Second Forum on Global Citizenship Education.
We invite you to see the latest issue of the AFS Intercultural Link news magazine to find out more about AFS’s efforts to advance global citizenship education, or to read the interview with Ms Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General who shared her views on this subject.