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UNESCO hosts Special Committee Meeting on the revision of the 1974 Recommendation
Paris, France

11 August 2023


Delegates from over 40 countries are meeting at UNESCO Headquarters to continue discussing the second draft of the 1974 Recommendation concerning education for International understanding, co-operation and peace and education relating to human rights and fundamental freedoms. This signature normative instrument provides a clear roadmap on how education should evolve in the 21st century to drive peace, reaffirm human rights and promote global citizenship and sustainable development in the face of contemporary threats and challenges.

The second session of the Intergovernmental Special Committee meeting is taking place in Paris, from 10 to 12 July 2023. During the three days, delegates – technical and legal experts from Member States and Associate Members of UNESCO – will review and analyze the remaining text of the second draft.

After the full text is agreed upon at the second session of the Special Committee meeting, the updated revised text of the Recommendation will then be submitted to the General Conference in view of its possible adoption at its 42nd session in November 2023. 

The first session of the Intergovernmental Special Committee meeting took place in person at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris from 30 May until 2 June 2023. It was attended by over 200 delegates from more than 90 countries. The outcome of the first session was the adoption of the Title, Definitions, Aims, Scope, Guiding Principles, and part of the Action Areas.

What is the 1974 Recommendation?
Adopted almost 50 years ago, the 1974 Recommendation is the first international non-binding legal instrument that brings together and articulates education's role in building peace, international understanding and cooperation, human rights, and fundamental freedoms. It establishes international principles and standards for governing education in this field. 

To make sure this normative instrument remains relevant for the decades to come and fully addresses contemporary challenges and threats, UNESCO Member States decided to review the Recommendation at the 41st session of the General Conference in 2021. UNESCO is leading a transparent and participatory three-phase revision process, guided by the Organization’s Rules of procedure. The revision was also inspired by the results of the Transforming Education Summit and the Futures of Education report. The new solid and evidence-informed text of the Recommendation should help Member States transform and shape their education policies and systems in the next 30-50 years.

Throughout the year and a half of the revision, around 3000 experts from more than 130 countries have participated in the process. To prepare a first draft of the revised text, UNESCO conducted six regional and four thematic consultations with representatives from ministries, UN agencies, UNESCO chairs, academia, youth, education professionals, NGOs, and other stakeholders. Numerous thematic papers and technical notes were also developed to expand on the topics and issues previously not addressed in the Recommendation.