ACEI and the United Nations

ACEI is an international education association with Consultative Status at the United Nations and membership in the NGO Committee on UNICEF.

ACEI UN representatives attend annual UN Department of Public Information (DPI) conferences, participate in Working Groups affiliated with the NGO Committee on UNICEF, and attend annual conferences sponsored by the Committee on Teaching About the United Nations (CTAUN). Additionally, ACEI representatives attend educational events at UN Headquarters in New York, U.S.A., and in Geneva, Switzerland.

ACEI supports the ratification of treaties that support the education and well-being of children, including the:

+ About the United Nations

The United Nations (UN) is an international organization whose stated aims are to facilitate cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achieving world peace. The UN was founded in 1945 after the Second World War by 51 countries in a commitment for peace and security and to provide a platform for dialogue. There are currently 193 Member States, including nearly every recognized independent state in the world.

UN headquarters are located on international territory in New York City. The UN and its specialized agencies, funds, and programs work across the globe on a broad range of fundamental issues, including education, human rights, the environment, sustainable development, food security, gender equality, and economic and social development.

For more information on the United Nations and its specialized agencies, visit the United Nations website.

UNICEF is a specialized agency of the United Nations that works to advocate for and guarantee the rights of every child. Through partnerships at the state level to the grassroots level, UNICEF works in areas of child survival and development, basic education and gender equality, HIV/AIDS and children, child protection, and policy advocacy. UNICEF programs include topics that address early childhood, nutrition, persons with disabilities, and public health.

The mission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is to contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication, and information. As a platform for interdisciplinary dialogue and expertise, UNESCO considers itself uniquely able to contribute toward the realization of international development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).


+ The Human Right To Education

The Right to Education is guaranteed under Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, where education at the elementary and fundamental levels or learning should be free and compulsory. According to Article 26, education should be directed toward the full development of the human person and to strengthen respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. Education is a means to foster peace through the promotion of understanding, tolerance, and friendship.
Education as a human right is further defined in General Comment No. 13 of the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, which is the main UN monitoring body of the International Covenant of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights . Education is described as the primary vehicle to lift economically and socially marginalized populations out of poverty and enable them to fully participate in their communities. It serves as a tool for empowerment, but most importantly, education promotes the "joys of human existence" afforded by a well-educated, enlightened mind.
Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education
A Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education is an independent expert appointed by the Human Rights Council to examine and report on states' obligations to facilitate and provide access to a free education as described within international human rights treaties and covenants.


Featured United Nations Education and Development Programs

+ Global Education First

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon launched the Global Education First Initiative . In September 2012 to "put education on top of the development agenda" by targeting three priorities: promoting better equity in access to education, improving the quality of learning, and promoting global citizenship. Describing education as "the basic building block for healthy societies," the Secretary-General has placed it at the top of his agenda for the remainder of his term in office. He has called on all governments to also give education a high priority in their legislative and budget processes, and has enlisted help from the private sector in support of these efforts.

+ Journeys to School

In a related program, the photo exhibit "Journeys to School" opened at the New York UN Headquarters on 4 March 2013. The photos on display illustrate different challenges faced by children and adolescents around the world as they travel to school and exercise their right to education. Some students must walk through dangerous areas, some reach school by boat, and some have to deal with a disability. One of the photos shows a student from the Bronx High School of Science in New York City, who has to travel by bus for over two hours each way. She says her education is well worth the inconvenience and adds, "I don't think my transportation is that difficult compared to children living in conflict zones." The exhibit serves to show the resilience of children and their parents, and the value of education as a powerful transformative force.

+ The World We Want

In 2000, all Member States of the United Nations agreed to work toward improving the lives of the world's most disadvantaged. They agreed to a set of clearly defined and measurable goals, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), to be reached by the year 2015. While some of the goals have already been reached and some will be reached by 2015, others will remain important targets and results will vary in different areas around the world. Still, there is consensus that a measurable and time-bound development framework is helpful, and so the Secretary-General appointed a panel of experts to develop a new global framework to replace the MDGs when they expire in 2015. In order to address the needs of as broad a segment as possible, input is sought from all people in all countries to help shape the new framework. The World We Want initiative, co-led by the UN and civil society, provides a politically recognized mechanism for millions of people to get involved in shaping the next set of development goals, based on the priorities of people closest to the problems. You can find out more about the Consultation at .

+ United Nations High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

The United Nations High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda was created to advise on the global development framework beyond 2015. Comprised of 27 members, the Panel is part of the Secretary-General’s post-2015 initiative mandated by the 2010 MDG Summit, which calls for open, inclusive consultations involving civil society, the private sector, academia, and research institutions from all regions, in addition to the UN system.

+ United Nations Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform

In June 2012, Member States and the international community came together in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development – or Rio+20. It is considered one of the largest conferences in the history of the United Nations. A political outcome document which contained clear and practical measures for implementing sustainable development was released as a result of the meeting. The online United Nations Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform is administered by the U.N. Division for Sustainable Development (DSD) and is an initiative that fulfills one of DSD’s core functions of knowledge management, communications, and outreach. The platform provides wide access to information and knowledge on sustainable development.