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Perspectives From the United States: The Secretary General's Vision for Education.


The UN Secretary General, Keri Annan, shared his vision for education at two major world conferences. At the 53rd Annual Department of Public Information/NGO (non-governmental organization) conference, "Global Solidarity: The Way to Peace and International Cooperation," he said that the United Nations belongs to all of us. Annan further stated that it is our responsibility to make globalization "an engine to raise people out of suffering and misery and not a force to hold them down." He emphasized that globalization should benefit all people. He again reinforced his continued appreciation and support for NGOs, and added that what matters most is what happens locally and what we do to help people. He closed by saying, "Today you are our partners in every sense of the word."

This past September, over 150 heads of state gathered at the United Nations to participate in the Millennium Assembly. Along with the Secretary General, their goal was to renew and revitalize priorities for the United Nations in the 21st century. The Secretary General issued a powerful report that spotlighted education as "the key to the new global economy, from primary school on up to lifelong learning." He considered education to be "central to development, social progress, and human freedom." He noted that 130 million children in developing countries do not enjoy primary education. In addition, about 60 percent of children not in school are girls. Universal access to primary and secondary school education is vital, and can only be achieved by closing the education gender gap. Annan concluded that "building a 21st century [that is] safer and more equitable than the 20th is a task that requires the determined efforts of every state and every individual."

What does Kofi Annan's message mean to classroom teachers today? Teachers often are overwhelmed with the pressures and demands of daily classroom life. Global issues sometimes seem distant, and it is a challenge to act locally and think globally at the same time. However, content knowledge in curriculum is changing, along with escalated expectations for assessment and accountability. Globalization is forcing us all to question our understanding of "global solidarity." Are the pressing issues--such as poverty, discrimination against girls, malnutrition, HIV/AIDS, changing family structures, and the lack of health care for children--happening on a global level? Do these global issues affect education at the local level?

The reality of globalization forces us to develop a different and expanded identity. Globalization is really in our backyards. We are technologically, economically, and educationally connected. True partnership with the UN assumes our awareness that we are members of the global network of educators. Kofi Annan's vision is indeed our own, and ACEI's members demonstrate this vision in classrooms throughout the world every day.

--Eileen Bayer and Nancy Brown, ACEI UN Representatives

2001 ACEI Election Remember To Cast Your Ballot

ACEI has a strong slate of candidates for the 2001 election. A ballot and information about the nominees for Member-At-Large, Sue Martin and Rolf Grafwallner, were mailed to all members on record as of November 1, 2000. Any address changes received at Headquarters before October 31 were reflected in the mailing. Completed ballots must be postmarked by January 15, 2001. The independent accounting firm of M.D. Oppenheim & Company will tabulate the results. ACEI is your organization and its elected leaders represent your interests. Help give ACEI a stronger voice for children by casting your ballot today.

2002 Election Arround the Corner

It is not too early to start thinking about the 2002 Executive Board election for the offices of President-Elect, Vice President Representing Infancy and Early Childhood, Secretary/Treasurer, and Student Representative. The most active members of ACEI make the best leaders. ACEI Branches and committees are encouraged to nominate candidates. Self-nominations are also welcome. Contact Headquarters for applications.
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Title Annotation:United Nation
Author:Brown, Nancy
Publication:Childhood Education
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 22, 2000
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