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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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II Definitions

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II Definitions ................................................................................................................................................. 11 1 Education........................................................................................................................................ 11 1.1 Learning .............................................................................................................................. 13 1.2 Training............................................................................................................................... 16 1.3 Teaching.............................................................................................................................. 17 2 Sustainability .................................................................................................................................. 18 2.1 Environmental or ecological sustainability ......................................................................... 21 2.2 Social sustainability............................................................................................................. 22 2.3 Economic sustainability ...................................................................................................... 23 2.4 Cultural sustainability ......................................................................................................... 24 3 Development .................................................................................................................................. 26 3.1 Sustainable development..................................................................................................... 27 3.2 Characteristics ..................................................................................................................... 28 4 Education for Sustainable Development......................................................................................... 30 4.1 Concept ............................................................................................................................... 30 4.2 United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development ................................... 33 5 Conclusion...................................................................................................................................... 34 How does UNESCO fulfil its distinct mandate of leadership and co-ordination as lead agency in the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable De- velopment (2005–2014)? Taking this question of global research to constitute a further programme of inquiry, different key terms must be defined within this context to ensure understanding. Thus, this chapter will provide a classification of the key terms which require direct clarification prior to further considera- tions. Terminology is subject to two paradigms: firstly, the identification and immediate definition of fundamental content-based concepts – education, sus- tainability, development, DESD –; and secondly, the provision of structural or strategy-related terms to be analysed in the course of work. 1 Education “Education is a fundamental human right. Education is essential for develop- ment. (…) (E)ducation makes a difference – it can help people to work together to find new solutions to their problems and can lead to new opportunities. […]”16 Education is a multi-faceted and highly politicised term. Derived from Latin educare17 and educere,18 it refers to the process of learning, training and teach- 16 See UNESCO (ed.) (2005g): UN Decade...

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