Messages for Student Summit

Samuel Lee

Samuel Lee Secretary General at the Korean National Commission for UNESCO

Dr. Samuel Lee is currently the Secretary General at the Korean National Commission for UNESCO. He was the first director of the Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU), Korea. He is also a member of the Presidential Commission on Education for Sustainable Development of Korea.

His message to students of the world

I wish to congratulate AGS, the University of Tokyo Student Community, on this important milestone in bringing youth together to share their opinions and experience on the issue of Global Sustainability. This occasion is indeed a notable one, in that it provides a forum for exchanging experiences and understanding movements about sustainability. The Student Summit for Sustainability is a meaningful tool for ensuring youth participation about Global Sustainability.

In pursuing a global agenda, new challenges have emerged around sustainability. UNESCO as a leader in promoting the goals of the UN Decade on Education for Sustainable Development (DESD) has placed education as a key component for enhancing an awareness and understanding of sustainability. Sustainability is also comprehensively related to the fundamental values of UNESCO’s Education for a Culture of Peace, and ultimately can only be achieved in conjunction with .learning in related areas such as human rights and ethics; knowledge societies, intercultural understanding and cultural harmony. Education for Sustainable Development strives to develop an awareness in citizens which better prepares them to face current and future challenges, as well as informed decision-makers who will be charged with acting responsibly to create a viable world. The broad scope of topics relating to sustainability means that they must be explored across a wide variety of curriculum areas, in both formal and informal educational settings. Youth have a key role to play in making this transformative vision of sustainability, a reality.

As the Lisbon Declaration and the Braga Compendium of 1998 states, “the youth are no longer tomorrow’s actors, but should be the main actors of today, and only when the youth actively participate in today’s development will the nations and societies stand strong.” I sincerely hope that this summit will become a new landmark in change towards sustainability.

Dr. Samuel Lee
February 22, 2007