The International Day of Education is an important moment to pause and reflect on concepts such as the rule of law, justice and peace and their role within educational frameworks. More importantly, it affords the opportunity to reiterate the importance of cooperation and strong coordination among stakeholders like policymakers, academia and the UN to work towards achieving the SDGs and create the environment needed for the next generation to thrive, flourish and reach their full potential.
UNODC's E4J initiative is a relatively new and innovative undertaking aimed at strengthening the prevention side of UNODC's work. The objective of this event was to use the opportunity of the International Day of Education to brief Member States, representatives from Civil Society and academia on the efforts undertaken by UNODC and its partners to link SDG 4 and SDG 16 to support their achievements by 2030. The event raised awareness about the importance to teach on rule of law and related subjects at higher education institutions and to highlight the necessity of new partnerships and bridges in order to make this more effective.
Furthermore, the event also highlighted the newly forged partnership between UNODC/E4J and the International Association of Universities (IAU) as well as other partners and key stakeholders. The aim of these partnerships is to support the promotion of rule of law related educational material at universities thereby assisting the achievement of the SDGs. Partnerships such as these help to put these tools in the hands of those who can best communicate rule of law issues to the next generation and in turn empower them to promote and uphold these values.
Finally, the event was an opportunity to provide updates about the E4J - Doha Grant Programme. With these grants UNODC seeks to empower higher education institutions to strengthen rule of law education at their universities. 227 applications were received from higher education institutions from 69 countries.