Educators, academics and policymakers flocked to Paris last week for the sixth regional World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) Forum, discussing the latest developments in the advancement of education, debating the needs which must still be met, sharing innovative ways of learning with new technologies, and elaborating on various educational concepts in different domains to empower educators and learners. The WISE@Paris Forum, "Education Futures: Fostering Learning Societies," was the occasion for UNODC's Education for Justice (E4J) initiative and UNESCO to launch their joint publication ' Strengthening the Rule of Law through Education: A Guide for Policymakers,' developed under the partnership 'Global Citizenship Education: Doing the right thing'.
For many educators around the world, some of the most satisfying moments in their work occur just after having taught or explained a fact, concept or idea to a child, and being rewarded with a look of amazement and understanding, especially in a setting designed exclusively to enhance children's knowledge.
One such place is the Tin Marín Children's Museum, one of San Salvador's best-known institutions which every year welcomes over 200,000 children. Walking through its bright and colourful rooms, children visit exhibitions on subjects as varied as geography, health, commerce or safety, to mention but a few. Supporting them in this learning experience, qualified volunteer guides accompany these children on their journey through knowledge, mixing learning with entertainment, and creating unforgettable experiences.
In the year since its launch in New York, UNODC's Model United Nations Resource Guide (created by E4J, the Education for Justice initiative) has gone around the globe and proven to be a powerful resource for thousands of students. Three of the largest MUN conferences in the world have not only incorporated several UNODC mandate areas into their MUNs, but have additionally simulated one of its most important governing bodies during their events, namely CCPCJ, the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.
In the capital of Qatar, where the Doha Declaration was adopted and for which the Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration was created, over 1,600 students participated last month in a Model UN whose theme was, for the first time, Sustainable Development Goal 16, Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.
Preparing today's youth to become tomorrow's leaders rests in large part on giving them solid educational pillars, including not only the necessary range of formal academics but also strong ethical foundations and essential life skills.
To keep the dialogue open with this most important of resources, its young people, UNODC's Regional Office for Eastern Africa, with support from the Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration, recently organized the National Youth Workshop on Promoting Good Governance and Integrity, bringing together some 500 Kenyan youth, representing all segments of society, including vulnerable communities from across the country.
For decades, UNODC has been a global leader in the fight against crime and illicit drugs, assisting Member States to prevent and control these scourges. With the Doha Declaration Global Programme, funded by the State of Qatar, UNODC has added a crucial element to this struggle which unites all nations: the education of younger generations to ensure a better tomorrow.
Speaking in New York at a special event marking the importance of education in this respect, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov recalled the central nature of this topic at the 13th UN Crime Congress at which the Doha Declaration was adopted: "Member States agreed that education for all children and youth is fundamental to the prevention of crime and corruption, and to the promotion of a culture of lawfulness that supports the rule of law and human rights."