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Lead Agency

UNESCO’s Global Leadership and Co-ordination Role for the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005–2014)

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Martin Gerner

In the future, advocacy in the field of International Relations will increase in importance. Mandates pertaining to particular issues have therefore been announced and officially assigned. In analysing the normative framework of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005–2014) the prominent and novel concept of lead agency is introduced, applied and comprehensively discussed. The major characteristics and implications of this concept are illustrated in the context of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and its mandate for global leadership and co-ordination. This publication contributes to the theory and practice of organizational leadership performance by proposing viable criteria for assessing achievements and challenges. The interdisciplinary approach adopted meets the needs of both practitioners in the field of education for sustainable development and scholars dealing with regime theory and new institutionalism.

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I Introduction

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I Introduction ................................................................................................................................................. 1 1 Preface .............................................................................................................................................. 1 2 Objectives......................................................................................................................................... 4 3 Structure ........................................................................................................................................... 4 4 Notion............................................................................................................................................... 5 5 State of the art................................................................................................................................... 6 6 Technical remarks ............................................................................................................................ 8 For years everyone has been talking about sustainability and now, through the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, this princi- ple has been given institutional recognition over a ten-year period from 2005 until 2014. This chapter will introduce the reader to the primary concern of the subsequent analyses. 1 Preface “I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.” This well-known and un- troubled quotation made by Albert Einstein represents his very pragmatic and unperturbed attitude as scientist. For obvious reasons, there is not a single glimpse of positivist or normative thinking, let alone vision-building! The United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005–2014) is about convincing people that the opposite is true: caring for the future matters. Therefore, any and every aspect of Education for Sustainable Development incorporates an element of dynamism and orientation towards the future.3 This is the case for education, sustainability and development. 3 See Figure 1 in chapter I 1 Preface on page 2, and Figure 2 in chapter I 1 Preface on page 3. 2 I – Introduction Figure 1: Official symbol of globally addressing sustainability literacy4 All three aspects are vital and have profound contemporary relevance, and for this reason the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Devel- opment coincides and connects with manifold global trends in multiple spheres of interest. The decade’s...

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