As I have informed, UNESCO, together with other organizations and several CSOs, is carrying out a process to define the Agenda for Early Childhood Care and Education, called “Inclusive and Innovative Dialogue towards a Global Coalition Strategy”.
OMEP has been actively participating in this process since it began.
This journey started with the webinar “Ensuring quality of learning and well-being for young children in the context of the COVID-19”, held on July 15, 2020. Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, Special Envoy for Literacy and Development at UNESCO, suggested that UNESCO organize this Dialogue in order to develop joint work for an ECCE Global Strategy. This initiative is related to the Global Education Coalition launched by UNESCO, which brings together more than 140 associated institutions. The webinar gathered more than 1200 participants representing national authorities, ECCE professionals and partners. OMEP’s World Presidency made a presentation during this event.
From that point, a roadmap was drawn to create engagement and a global advocacy strategy for ECCE. In the last months of 2020, UNESCO, in collaboration with its partners, has given some key steps:
UNESCO organized a drafting group for the strategy to write a document on the Global Partnership Strategy (GPS) for ECCE. UNICEF was invited to participate, since it is the leader organization monitoring goal 4.2 of SDG 4. Its role is to co-direct the consultation process and mobilize partners as well as other important organizations, universities and NGOs.
The tasks of the drafting group were: a) to identify and document the main challenges, actions and good practices; b) to mobilize member states, partners and key actors to defend ECCE; and c) to make a draft of the GPS and select its components.
OMEP is a member of the drafting group for the strategy, represented by me, as World President, Lisbeth Gouin and Danièle Perruchon, as permanent representatives of OMEP at UNESCO, Ingrid Engdhal, as Regional Vicepresident of Europe, and Ingrid Pramling, as OMEP’s Past-president and Professor of Early Childhood Education and Sustainable Development at Gothenburg University.
We have participated in the drafting process and in several technical meetings, where discussions were held and OMEP has not always agreed on views regarding ECCE. Nevertheless, we have been able to include OMEP’s initiative on the DECADE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT, EDUCATION AND CARE IN EARLY CHILDHOOD in the work of the group and in the document. A great achievement!!!
On January 28, 2021, UNESCO called a High Level Session, where ministers, policymakers and international agency chiefs participated and interacted in an open dialogue about strategic priorities for ECCE.
This event included virtual workshops, presentations and online discussions, where OMEP’s Presidency had the opportunity to present our ideas.
At the moment, this work is still under way and, during the following months, we need to strengthen our proposal and action plan in order to achieve real and effective progress to guarantee human rights in early childhood.
Mercedes Mayol Lassalle
- UNESCO meeting: “Advancing the Early Childhood Agenda: Inclusive Innovative Global Partnership Strategy”. December 16th, 2020.
- UNESCO meeting: “Advancing the early childhood agenda: inclusive innovative dialogue”. January 28th, 2021.