Follow us on: 
News Highlights

Joint Message on the Occasion of World Teachers’ Day - Empowering Teachers, Building Sustainable Societies

Print Email


teacher dayEvery year on World Teachers' Day, we celebrate educators and the central role they play in providing children everywhere with a quality education. Today, as the global community comes together around the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals, the role teachers play has never have been more important.

The new global education goal, SDG 4 which is at the heart of the Education 2030 Agenda, calls for "inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all". Realising this goal is critical to achieving all our global development targets – for strong societies depend on well-educated citizens and a well-trained workforce. But we can only realize this agenda if we invest in recruiting, supporting, and empowering teachers.

Quality teachers are increasingly recognized as the most important factor in children's learning – and thus, in improving educational attainment levels, increasing the ability of young people to participate in society and today's knowledge economies, boosting productivity and prosperity. Especially in poor communities and countries affected by conflict, quality teaching can literally change a child's life – helping children overcome enormous challenges and preparing them for better lives and brighter futures.

But around the world today, far too many teachers are undervalued and disempowered. There is a mounting shortage of quality teachers, unequal distribution of trained teachers, and inadequate or non-existent national standards for the teaching profession. These are all key contributing factors to wide equity gaps in access and learning. The poorest regions and schools and the earliest grades – those most in need – are often the most affected. This is a deeply troubling gap, as study after study shows that reaching children in the earliest years is critical to their development.

The UNESCO Institute for Statistics estimates that to achieve universal primary education by 2020 countries will need to recruit a total of 10.9 million primary teachers.

This is a global education crisis in the making – unless we act. Recognizing the looming crisis at the 2015 World Education Forum, held in Incheon, South Korea, leaders committed to "ensure that teachers and educators are empowered, adequately recruited, well-trained, professionally qualified, motivated and supported within well-resourced, efficient and effectively governed systems". The 2015 Oslo "Education for Development", Summit in Norway, further highlighted the imperative of addressing the shortage of qualified teachers and of investing in teacher education.

Now, by committing to the Education 2030 agenda, the UN Member States agree to substantially increase the supply of qualified teachers, including through international cooperation for teacher training in developing countries, especially Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States.

This is an important step – and now we must live up to these commitments. To meet the new education goal and all its targets by 2030, we must intensify efforts to provide sufficiently qualified, well deployed, motivated and supported teachers to every school, every community, and every child.

Governments should redouble efforts to engage in dialogue with teachers and their organizations and devise concrete policy measures and strategies to provide appropriate incentives, including competitive remuneration and clear career paths to teach in schools located in challenging environments and retain them in the profession.

Teachers should be empowered through the provision of decent working conditions, well-resourced, safe and healthy working environments, trust, professional autonomy and academic freedom.

The ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers (1966), the UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher Education Teaching Personnel (1997) and the ILO Policy Guidelines on the Promotion of Decent Work for Early Childhood Education Personnel (2014) are essential international standards and benchmarks for the teaching profession.

On the first World Teachers' Day of a new education agenda of global development, we appeal to the international community to value, support, and empower teachers of the world. For it is they who will educate a new generation of children who, in turn, will carry forward all our goals to build a better world for all.

Irina Bokova, Director-General, UNESCO

Guy Ryder, Director-General, ILO

Anthony Lake, Executive Director, UNICEF

Helen Clark, Administrator, UNDP

Fred van LEEUWEN, General Secretary, Education International




1 December 2017

Michel Sidibé
Executive Director of UNAIDS
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations

This World AIDS Day, we are highlighting the importance of the right to health and the challenges that people living with and affected by HIV face in fulfilling that right.


Community spaces design contest for an exciting hanoi

Ha Noi, October 17/10/2017 - Aiming at improving the living environment and bringing culture and art to the community towards a better urban future, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) successfully developed the project “Promote participatory, community-based and youth-led approach in safe, greening public spaces in Hoan Kiem district toward a pro-poor, inclusive and sustainable urban development” (hereinafter called Public Spaces project) under the Block by Block program with Mojang, the makers of the videogame Minecraft.


Deadline for round 1: From 17/10/2017 to 04/11/2017 Extended to 9 November 2017


Harsh punishment for child offenders doesn’t prevent further criminality

The age at which a child, can be held criminally liable is a controversial issue around the world. Within Viet Nam, this issue is currently being grappled with in the Penal Code amendments. Some argue that a "get tough on crime" approach is necessary to punish children to prevent further criminality.

However, international research shows that because of their developmental stages, labelling and treating children as criminals at an early age can have serious negative impacts on their development and successful rehabilitation.


New Year Greetings from the United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i. in Viet Nam


On the occasion of New Year 2017, on behalf of the United Nations family in Viet Nam I wish to reiterate our appreciation and express our warmest wishes to our partners and friends throughout the country. We wish our partners and their families in Viet Nam peace, prosperity, good health and happiness in the coming year.

As we enter the second year of the Sustainable Development Goals era, we look forward to continuing our close cooperation for the sake of Viet Nam’s future development; one which is inclusive, equitable and sustainable, with no one left behind.

Youssouf Abdel-Jelil
United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i. in Viet Nam


UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for World AIDS Day, observed on 1 December


Thirty-five years since the emergence of AIDS, the international community can look back with some pride.  But we must also look ahead with resolve and commitment to reach our goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

There has been real progress in tackling the disease. More people than ever are on treatment.  Since 2010, the number of children infected through mother to child transmission has dropped by half. Fewer people die of AIDS related causes each year.  And people living with HIV are living longer lives.

The number of people with access to life-saving medicines has doubled over the past five years, now topping 18 million. With the right investments, the world can get on the fast-track to achieve our target of 30 million people on treatment by 2030.  Access to HIV medicines to prevent mother to child transmission is now available to more than 75 per cent of those in need.